The menacing great white shark is seen occasionally in Canadian waters: will we see a lot more here in the future?
Pacific and Atlantic temperate coastal waters
Endangered in the Atlantic, data deficient in the Pacific
WHY SO SPECIAL?
Most feared oceanic predator
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.