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PSRF Shark Image Library

These images are for your personal enjoyment ONLY, and may not be reproduced or used in any other manner without permission from PSRF.

Blue & Mako | Misc. | White | Basking | Benthic | Stranded

Sean Van Sommeran leaders in a small blue shark for tagging and measuring prior to release; fall 1992. Blue sharks are sampled in the summer and fall of the year. Specialized terminal gear is employed so as to minimize stress to the shark. A small barbless hook and a plastic covered leader are used when hook and line methods are used. A scoop net is used for most of the small blue sharks. Researchers scoop the smaller sharks as they swim close to the boat or approach the bait bag. This method prevents undue injury and stress to the sharks which are measured, gendered, tagged and blood sampled with a syringe. With sharks too large to scoop net, the hook and line method is employed. It is crucial that the study subject is not over-stressed or unnecessarily injured and researchers with the PSRF are always working to develop less invasive sampling methods.
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"Trub" a local fisherman caught this short fin mako weighing several hundred lbs. in the Monterey bay in the fall of 1944. The mako was caught in a lompara net at night while fishing pompano near the Rio Del Mar beach in the north east corner of the Monterey bay. Trub said that the shark exploded out of the water taking a large section of the net with him into the air, drenching all aboard. The shark twisted itself up in the cork line trapping itself. Trub and his 1st mate Nardo killed the shark with pistols. "Trub" is short for "trouble."
A local fisherman poses behind a single night's catch of sharks at Santa Cruz Fisherman's wharf late summer 1946. It aint like it used to be. The catch includes a 900 lbs. white shark, several thresher sharks and three soupfins. The sharks were caught on long lines baited with mackerel and sardines. According to the old school fisherman there were more and bigger everything back in the days. Basking sharks were all over the place and 1000 lb. mola-molas were common.
Director Van Sommeran inspects the tell tale signs of white shark visitation upon a dead humpback whale. This humpback whale stranded near Gray Hound Rock in the fall of 1993. The dead whale washed up just four miles south of Ano Nuevo Island and was discovered by Park Rangers. The whale carcass had apparently been visited by several white sharks before eventually beaching. The sharks had badly damaged the head and jaw. Much tissue had been removed from the whale's throat and the tongue had been gouged out. The lower mandible was broken and exposed. Most of the shark bites were concentrated near the whale's head but there were several large shark bites on isolated parts of the whale. Some of the isolated bite marks were over 30 inches across. The bites all appeared to be fresh although the whale had been dead for at least 4-5 days. During 1993 several whales washed up around the Monterey Bay, some of them had marks from killer whales. The dead humpback did not have any marks that would indicate killer whale involvement.
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Director Van Sommeran points out forensic features indicative of killer whale predation upon the carcass of a juvenile gray whale during the spring of 1997. During the northern leg of the California gray whale migration in the spring, orcas or "killer whales" are known to intercept the calf/cow pairs of gray whales as they journey north across the Monterey Bay toward Alaska. During the spring of 1997, no less than seven gray whales were observed by researchers to have been killed by orcas. In this photo Van Sommeran gestures toward the dead whales torn and broken mandible and the missing tongue. Long parallel scratched on the whales flukes and pectoral fins are also clearly associated with orca predation. The juvenile gray whale washed ashore two miles north of Ano Nuevo Island in March of 1997.
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The carcass of a gray whale bears the clear signs of orca predation and post mortum shark bites. Some of the shark bites were approximately 24" across. The head had been savaged by orcas during an attack that occurred in late spring 1996 over the Soquel canyon, Monterey bay.
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S.R. Van Sommeran inspects the handiwork of orca killer whales, spring 1993.
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A dead Minke whale bearing the marks of a killer whale attack and post mortem blue shark bites in spring of 1993.
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A male "rogue" orca feeds on a California sealion in Monterey bay California, Oct, 1996. Monterey bay is a waypoint for marauding packs of transient, or "rogue" killer whales which are distinctly different from the more common "resident" orcas that live in the Northwest. Resident orcas feed primarily on fish, live in established home ranges from Canada and Alaska. Rogue orcas travel far and wide from Mexico to alaska and feed on whales, seals and porpoise as well as fish. Rogue orcas have a distinctive vocal pattern that is completely unlike the resident type of orcas.
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PSRF Senior Interns Jason Cutter and Mickeal Williams transport a tranqualized leopard shark from the California Dept of Fish and Game Facility in Santa Cruz back to the Elkhorn Slough Research Reserve. The leopard shark was tranquilized with MS 222 and tagged with a t-bar tag.
Fritz-Cope/PSRF June 1997.

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