Learn about the salmon shark and view a potential first-ever recording of a newly observed salmon shark behaviour.
If you encounter a salmon shark, we encourage you to report the encounter.
The salmon shark Lamna ditropis is a common pelagic (living from the ocean surface to 375 metres below) species. You can identify them by their:
- short snout
- 2 horizontal keels just prior to tail fin
- short and heavy body (length of up to 3 metres)
- teeth that are awl-like with small sharp denticles on each shoulder of the main point
- colouring that is black or dark grey on the top that abruptly changes to white blotches on the bottom
2019 salmon shark behaviour recorded
The 2019 Pacific seamounts expedition team captured what is thought to be the first-ever footage of a specific salmon shark behaviour.
The recording shows a salmon shark repeatedly rubbing itself against a floating log covered in barnacles. The team hypothesized that the shark was removing parasites from its skin.
This event was observed by:
- Canadian Coast Guard crew
- Josh Watts (Nuu-chah-nulth Nations)
- Cherisse Du Preez (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
- Pacific seamounts expedition 2019
- Sharks of British Columbia poster [PDF]
- Codes of conduct: Shark encounters
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