Saturday, January 26, 2008

Rare Sixgill Shark Found Beached

Imagine Andy Woodford's surprise as he combed the Liberty Bay shoreline for shells and instead discovered a beached 9-foot Sixgill Shark.

The shark is an immature sixgill female, found with no signs of trauma or obvious cause of death.


Debbie Farrer, a scientific technician with the DFW, said sixgill sightings in shallow waters are uncommon, though the Puget Sound is a nesting area for the type of shark. The predators feed on seals, smaller sharks and various types of fish. She said there has only been one reported diver incident with a sixgill shark in which someone was possibly hurt. The unconfirmed incident was not in the area nor was it recent; divers swim with sixgills often without trouble, she said.


Sixgills are most often found in water at least 200 feet deep, but sometimes swim into shallower areas at night to feed, said DFW marine ecosystems manager Greg Bargmann. Between three and five are found stranded on shore each year. Sixgills grow to about 12 feet in length, and usually leave the sound for open waters when they are 6-8 years old, he said.

Hat tip: Shark Divers

No comments: