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There’s something in the water

You have to admit that there’s been a lot of attention focused recently on what is being seen in the water and found along our shorelines. It seemed to start out with a few blue sharks that washed up in the Lewisporte and Embree area last year. There are sharks swimming around boats engaged in the recreational food fishery and even taking a little sample of the cod on occasion as it is being reeled into the boat. 

And while not in the waters of communities covered by the Pilot (that we know of), a great white shark named Lydia has been frequenting the provinces waters (you can follow her progress at

Then there was the orca sightings – with many boaters around here having seen them in local waters the past few summers. There is an abundance of whales in general, and one of those that found it’s way to a beach in Lewisporte where it beached itself and perished on Nov. 9.

Then there is the Greenland shark discovered in Norris Arm North that made the front page of the Pilot this week (and headlines in news agencies across the country and internationally). As you can read in the story, it was quite a remarkable rescue effort.

Is it that there are more of these sharks and whales in our waters? That question was posed to Mark Simpson, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans biologist interviewed for the Greenland shark article. The fact is that these sharks and whales have always frequented the ocean surrounding this island, but whether or not there are more of them is something that requires further study.

Populations shift and ocean conditions change, so there is no definite yes or no answer to the prevalence question. What is also interesting to note from speaking with Mr. Simpson is that there is a lot more ways and means in terms of the technology we use for communicating with each other. There are more people out boating for recreational purposes and we are more likely to have encounters with marine life. Most of those people are taking photos or videos of what they see and are sharing it well beyond their small circle of family and friends to a worldwide audience if you consider how far a social network like Facebook can reach.

One thing is for certain, all these encounters make for interesting news that we enjoy sharing with Pilot readers.


—   Karen Wells


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