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Shark sightings

Everyone who encounters a shark is encouraged to document and report the sighting to DFO.

Most people don't know what to do when and if they see a shark. The answer is: enjoy the view from a safe distance. Sharks are wild animals, and deserve the same level of respect given to any other wild animal. They should never be touched or approached too closely.

When you see a shark in the ocean be sure to note a few key characteristics that may help you identify it later.

If you encounter a shark, let us know

Report a sighting or incident in Atlantic Canada

Call our toll free line: 1-844-400-7870 or e-mail Shark.MAR@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Newfoundland and Labrador : NLSharkSightings@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

Please e-mail or mail the fillable form (see below) to:
Shark sightings
Bedford Institute of Oceanography
P.O. Box 1006, Dartmouth, NS
B2Y 4A2, Canada

E-mail: Shark.MAR@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Newfoundland and Labrador: NLSharkSightings@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Report a sighting or incident in Pacific Canada

Call our toll free line: 1-877-50-SHARK (1-877-507-4275) or e-mail sharks@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Please e-mail, mail or fax the fillable form (see below) to:
Shark sightings
Pacific Biological Station
3190 Hammond Bay Road
Nanaimo, BC V9T 6N7
Fax: 250-756-7053
E-mail: sharks@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Form

Report a sighting or incident (PDF, 44 KB)

Depending on your browser, you may need to save this form to your device and open it using a PDF reader.

If you see a shark, remain a safe distance away and record as many details of the encounter as possible:

In particular, reporting white shark sightings in the Atlantic helps scientists gain knowledge about this species, which is listed as Endangered under the Species at Risk Act.

Be careful not to hit a shark with your boat. Basking sharks in particular are at risk of vessel strikes as they are slow-moving and are often encountered while feeding or “basking” on the surface. Propellers may injure a basking shark as they slowly swim away from a vessel.

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