Joshua Watts, representing Uuathluk as well as Nuu-chah-nulth nations in the Alberni Valley region of Vancouver Island, waits to board Canadian Coast Guard ship John P. Tully for a two-week expedition with pacific seamounts 2019. INSTAGRAM PHOTO

VIDEO: Salmon shark treats scientists to surprising behaviour off Island’s west coast

Scientists, students treated to ‘surprising’ behaviour from shark

For a brief moment this week, the waters off Port Alberni became the salmon shark capital of Canada.

Scientists and students aboard an Oceans Network Canada expedition to explore pacific seamounts off the west coast of Vancouver Island had a rare sighting of a salmon shark on July 23.

Scientist Dr. Cherisse Du Preez and Joshua Watts, one of two Nuu-chah-nulth people aboard the vessel, spotted the two-metre, male salmon shark.

“We noticed it started brushing itself along this log over and over again,” Watts said in a video released by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

“It looked like it was aiming for this big clump of barnacles,” Du Preez said. “It would heave its body out of the water and slide at the log.”

The shark had parasites visible on its dorsal fin. “It’s really interesting to see these logs out at sea may be scratching posts for them to rid themselves of parasites,” Du Preez said.

“As far as I know, this footage doesn’t exist elsewhere.”

Crew members reportedly watched the salmon shark for half an hour. “It was incredible,” Watts said.

Watts and Aline Carrier from Nuu-chah-nulth nations in Port Alberni boarded the coast guard ship John P Tully on July 17 to join the expedition for two weeks. They represent Uuathluk

READ MORE: Port Alberni: Canada’s Ultimate Fishing Town

Port Alberni boasts of being the Salmon Capital of Canada, and was crowned Canada’s Ultimate Fishing Town in 2012.

To watch the livestream of the Pacific seamounts expedition 2019 and learn more about what they’re finding, click here.

 

Scientist Cherisse Du Preez, left, and Uuathluk’s Joshua Watts talk about their close-up encounter with a salmon shark while on Ocean Networks Canada’s pacific seamounts 2019 expedition. SCREEN GRAB

Just Posted

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Vancouver Island man guilty of California murder cold case

Jury rules Shawnigan Lake’s Anthony Kubica killed wealthy Palm Springs senior in 1990

Victim of downtown Courtenay assault dies from injuries

RCMP confirm file is now a homicide investigation

‘Actors can play any roles’: Debate over ‘colour-blind’ casting after Victoria lawsuit

Tenyjah Indra McKenna filed a complaint over racially-motivated casting

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Vancouver Island hunters may have harvested deer in area known for chronic wasting disease

Conservation officers make urgent request to public for any information

Victoria residents face long holds for non-emergency police calls

Victoria police face challenges ‘on many fronts’ since switching to E-Comm call centre

Cowichan Milk Company: from grass to glass, bottled milk right to your door

Farm stand open 6 days a week, and home delivery is available everywhere from Mill Bay to Chemainus.

Technical Safety BC says Alberni Valley Multiplex chiller safe to operate

Few conditions left for city to meet before making ice

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

Nanaimo man caught with more than 200,000 child porn images to be sentenced

Crown says Aaron Macrae recorded video of children on buses and at his workplace

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Most Read