Basking shark 'amazes' man in St. Margarets Bay
Eight-metre shark spotted close to shore in Indian Harbour
Something big is swimming around the waters of St. Margarets Bay.
Over the weekend, Bob Found captured a few videos of a massive shark, measuring more than eight metres long, off of Cliff Cove near Indian Harbour, Nova Scotia.
Based on its size and images taken of the shark, Fisheries and Oceans Canada confirms this is a basking shark.
Found said he was "amazed" to see the huge fish so close to the shore.
Basking sharks are filter feeders that eat primarily krill, plankton and small fish. They do not pose a danger to humans.
Found's partner, Barbara Wilkes, first spotted the shark from her deck.
"I looked out and I thought 'is that a rock there?' I thought 'I don't remember there being a rock there.' And all of a sudden it started to move," she said.
According to the department, this shark was likely feeding close to shore when it was caught on video.
These gentle giants of the deep can reach lengths of more than 12 metres and live in coastal waters around the world, including the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of Canada.
Found said he thought it was a whale when he first saw the two fins emerging from the water because he could tell whatever it was, it was big.
"I can tell just by the way it's lazily swimming on the surface here, and by the shape of its fins," he said.
Joyce estimated the shark to be about eight metres long. He said it appeared to be chasing krill or small fish to eat.
The Pacific population is listed as endangered under Canada’s Species at Risk Act, however not enough is known about the number of basking sharks in the Atlantic Ocean to determine the health of that population.
The life history of basking sharks is poorly understood, according to the department, but the sharks are believed to be long-lived and slow to reproduce.
Joyce said even though the sharks do not pose a danger to humans, it's best to keep your distance.
"Enjoy your view, don't get too close," he said. "They are a wild animal."
Basking sharks are often seen swimming lazily near the surface, seemingly “basking” in the sun, hence their name.