Location: The Northeast Pacific Ocean and globally.
Description: The purpose of this project is to track observations of Basking Sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) in Northeast Pacific Ocean and globally.
Background: Basking Sharks were greatly reduced in Canada's Pacific marine ecosystems, such as through harvesting for liver oil during the 1940s and a long-term eradication program of the Canadian government beginning in the 1940s. They were listed as endangered in Canada in 2010. IN the United States, basking sharks are listed as a species of concern. As in Canada, their numbers plumetted in the US during the mid 1900s. They are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
Funding: There are various projects seeking observations of basking sharks in the Northeast Pacific, with support from various sources. Sources of support currently include Fisheries and Oceans Canada, NOAA Fisheries Service, and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.
Partners: Potential partners include the Pacific Shark Research Center at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Parks Canada's Pacific Rim National Park](http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/pacificrim/index), and the NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center.
Observing Guidance: There are three separate Basking Shark projects in the Northeast Pacific. Observers should post their observations to the LEO Network as well as to one of the selected projects below, based on proximity and jurisdiction, until these reporting systems are fully integrated and interfaced with the LEO Network.
Pacific Shark Research Center at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories runs the Spot a Basking Shark Project which includes an online reporting form.
The NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center has also requested information from public observers on Basking Sharks by telephone or email shown at this link.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada requests that everyone that encounters a Basking Shark, Bluntnose Sixgill Shark, Tope Shark, or any other shark species in BC (with the exception of North Pacific Spiny Dogfish) is encouraged visit their report a sighting page to record specific information on DFO's shark sighting form linked here, in addition to documenting the encounter on the LEO Network.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada has also shared Codes of Conduct for Shark Encounters and Codes of Conduct for Basking Shark Encounters.
Source Data: Observations submitted to the LEO Network, and those submitted to other partners.
Outputs: Data contributed to LEO will be added to LEO regional map and to timeline trends. Contributed data will potentially be used in published reports or papers with partners and collaborators.
Project Updates: Project updates may be provided in forthcoming LEO BC newsletters, regional ocean health reports, and through direct collaboration with project contributors, and by project partners.
NOAA Fisheries, West Coast Region information on basking sharks
Pacific Shark Research Center resource Spot a Basking Shark
Fisheries and Oceans Canada Shark Sightings
Canada species at risk profile for Basking Sharks
Harvey-Clark, C.J., Stobo, W.T., Helle, E. and Mattson, M., 1999. Putative mating behavior in basking sharks off the Nova Scotia coast. Copeia, pp.780-782.
Sims, D.W., 2008. Sieving a Living: A Review of the Biology, Ecology and Conservation Status of the Plankton‐Feeding Basking Shark Cetorhinus maximus. Advances in marine biology, 54, pp.171-220.
Squire, J.L., 1967. Observations of basking sharks and great white sharks in Monterey Bay, 1948-50. Copeia, 1967(1), pp.247-250.
Squire Jr, J.L., 1990. Distribution and apparent abundance of the basking shark, Cetorhinus maximus, off the central and southern California coast, 1962-85. Marine fisheries review, 52(2), pp.8-11.
Wallace, S., & Gisborne, B. (2006). Basking sharks: the slaughter of BC's gentle giants (Vol. 14). Transmontanus.