Shark season hits waters of Atlantic Canada


LUNENBURG, N.S. – A 225-kilogram shark has been spotted off Nova Scotia’s South Shore, the latest in a series of sightings one expert says could signal an uptick in Maritime waters.

Bill Flower, or “Cap’t Bill” as he’s known at Lunenberg Ocean Adventures, says he was taking a stag party on a tour near Cross Island on Saturday when the group saw either a mako or a great white shark jump straight out of the water three or four times.

Flower says he’s been seeing more sharp-toothed predators on his near-daily shark charters, a slight increase he attributes to warming waters related to climate change.

Other sightings in Atlantic Canada this summer include a great white that was caught on camera cruising in the Bay of Fundy near St. Andrews, N.B. last week, and a shark that caused a stir in Liverpool, N.S., in July after gobbling mackerel straight off fishers’ hooks.

Last Sunday, a group of 22-year-olds filmed a shark hunting a pod of harbour porpoises in St. Margarets Bay near Hackett’s Cove, N.S., while whale watching on a small inflatable boat.

Warren Joyce, a researcher with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Halifax, said it looks like the porpoises might have been “a little shaken” from the encounter, but he suspects they escaped the attack unharmed.

Joyce said the DFO is notified of shark sightings approximately 12 to 20 times every summer and there has not been a significant hike this year.

The researcher reckons about half of these reports may be false alarms inspired by the cultural fascination with the dead-eyed, primeval fish.

In the United States, shark sightings have prompted authorities to close several beaches on the East Coast, including popular destinations in New England, New York and elsewhere.