Body Size Distribution and Frequency of Anthropogenic Injuries of Bluntnose Sixgill Sharks, Hexanchus griseus, at Flora Islets, British Columbia

Robert Dunbrack, Robert Zielinski


The Bluntnose Sixgill Shark (Hexanchus griseus) is a widely distributed demersal species whose population biology is poorly understood. Although H. griseus is normally found in deep continental slope waters, individuals from a population in the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, make unexpected diurnal movements onto a shallow reef (Flora Islets) between June and August. This shallow water activity allowed in situ length measurements to be made on 35 free-swimming Bluntnose Sixgill Sharks using stereo videography. The measured sharks were all large juveniles and sub-adults, although smaller juveniles and pregnant females are known to occur in deeper adjacent waters. The restricted size distribution at Flora Islets may arise because small juveniles avoid contact with larger conspecifics and mating takes place offshore. All measured sharks were individually identified by unique scar patterns. In 13 of 35 sharks these scars were consistent with injuries expected from hooking and entanglement by commercial fishing gear.


Sixgill Sharks; Hexanchus griseus; length-frequency distribution; anthropogenic injury; British Columbia

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