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Inconspicuous, recovering, or northward shift: status and management of the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) in Atlantic Canada
Bastien, G.; Barkley, A.; Chappus, J.; Heath, V.; Popov, S.; Smith, R.; Tran, T.; Currier, S.; Fernandez, D.C.; Okpara, P.; Owen, V.; Franks, B.; Hueter, R.; Madigan, D.J.; Fischer, C.; McBride, B.; Hussey, N.E. (2020). Inconspicuous, recovering, or northward shift: status and management of the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) in Atlantic Canada. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 77(10): 1666-1677. https://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2020-0055
In: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences = Journal canadien des sciences halieutiques et aquatiques. National Research Council Canada: Ottawa. ISSN 0706-652X; e-ISSN 1205-7533, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]
    Marine/Coastal

Authors  Top 
  • Bastien, G.
  • Barkley, A.
  • Chappus, J.
  • Heath, V.
  • Popov, S.
  • Smith, R.
  • Tran, T.
  • Currier, S.
  • Fernandez, D.C.
  • Okpara, P.
  • Owen, V.
  • Franks, B.
  • Hueter, R.
  • Madigan, D.J.
  • Fischer, C.
  • McBride, B.
  • Hussey, N.E.

Abstract
    Although white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) have been considered rare in Atlantic Canada waters, recent sighting records indicate a potentially increasing presence. We combine historical to present sighting data with satellite telemetry tracks of large juvenile and adult white sharks tagged in US (n = 9) and Atlantic Canada waters (n = 17) to show seasonal white shark presence and distribution in Atlantic Canada, returns by individuals over multiple years, and high site fidelity to the region. Telemetry data indicate that white sharks are a more common and consistent occurrence in Canadian waters than previously thought, presenting two potential scenarios: (i) tagging technology is revealing white shark presence that was historically cryptic and (or) (ii) a northward range expansion of white sharks in the Northwest Atlantic, potentially due to climate change, population recovery, and (or) increasing pinniped prey. Given combined sighting and telemetry data indicate a current need for proactive management of white sharks in Atlantic Canada waters, we propose the basis for a management action plan, addressing conservation priorities, management goals, and research incentives while considering the potential for human–shark interactions.

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