Gentle Giants: In Search of Basking Sharks in Canada's Pacific Waters
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) research scientist Dr. Jacquelynne King dreams of one day seeing a basking shark off Canada's west coast. Reaching lengths of up to 40 feet, the second largest fish in the world was once so common on the Pacific coast that they were commonly seen in groups of 100. Today sightings are very rare. Researchers estimate that only a few basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) now roam the coastal inlets of British Columbia — a dramatic decline from their estimated historical population of 3,000 to 5,000.
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