Shark Survey Week:
Shark Survey Week is a citizen science project that was set up by Peter Mieras and is scientifically supported by Dr. Chris Harvey-Clark from Dalhousie University and Jeff Christiansen and Shawn Larson from the Seattle Aquarium.
Each year Rendezvous Dive Adventures welcomes divers who want to participate in the survey, and look for Bluntnose six gill sharks, ratfish and dogfish. Together with scientists our divers survey the waters of Barkley Sound. The main objective is to gather information about the local population of Bluntnose six gill sharks, but data on ratfish and other sharks are logged too. Although divers look for these sharks from May until October the peak of the encounters is in August and September. The sharks are documented, and filmed or photographed, and an annual log is maintained to keep track of this species. The data is shared with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) who now has a program to educate fishermen about these sharks, thus hope to reduce by-catch.
Besides the dives on the sites where the sharks are expected to be found, the scientists give short presentations in the evening and are available for consultation. Great stories, humor, new friendships and new dive buddies are all part of the experience that is Shark Survey Week.
We also gather data from other sightings in the Pacific Northwest and when you click on this link you can download our Shark Sighting Sheet which had been developed by us and supported by the Seattle Aquarium and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). There is also a code of conduct for handling six gill sharks when caught accidentally by recreational or commercial fishermen.