Out There

Canadian Wildlife - - CONTENTS - Text and Pho­tog­ra­phy by Wayne Lynch

The men­ac­ing great white shark is seen oc­ca­sion­ally in Cana­dian wa­ters: will we see a lot more here in the fu­ture?

SCI­EN­TIFIC NAME

Car­char­o­don car­charias

RE­GION

Pa­cific and Atlantic tem­per­ate coastal wa­ters

CON­SER­VA­TION STA­TUS

En­dan­gered in the Atlantic, data de­fi­cient in the Pa­cific

WHY SO SPE­CIAL?

Most feared oceanic preda­tor

COOL FACTS

The great white shark is an apex preda­tor — one that, as an adult, has no nat­u­ral en­e­mies. The great white’s preda­tory de­meanour, speed and ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity, and heavy muscular body ex­plain its im­mu­nity from at­tack by other marine preda­tors, not to men­tion its 40 to 50 shear­ing knifeedged teeth. Adult males com­monly grow up to four me­tres long and weigh 1,000 kilo­grams or more. Fe­males are larger yet, grow­ing to lengths over 5.5 me­tres and weigh­ing up to 1,900 kilo­grams.

The highly mi­gra­tory great white is rare in Cana­dian wa­ters. On the Pa­cific side, most of the re­ports come from Haida Gwaii. On the Atlantic side, there are records from all the Mar­itime provinces as well as the north shore of the St. Lawrence River in Que­bec. The most re­cent Atlantic record is from June 2018, when a large great white ap­proached two ca­noeists pad­dling in the Bay of Fundy. As ocean wa­ters warm, sci­en­tists pre­dict that great white sight­ings will be­come more fre­quent.

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