CAPE JOHN – A blue shark washed up on a Pictou County shore this week.
On Monday, Peter Whaley, of Coastal Spirit Expeditions, spotted the dead shark on a beach in Cape John.
“I was just taking my dog for a walk and happened upon it,” he said.
He took pictures of the shark, which he estimated to be about five feet long, and sent them to the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. An expert from there said it was most likely a blue shark although it is a bit small for the species.
The only other creature Whaley said it seemed similar to is the spiny dogfish, but it had no spines and the eyes were also different.
“It’s fairly small for a blue shark, but pushing the limits of a spiny dogfish,” he said.
Through his business and own recreational excursions, Whaley is on the water almost daily and has never seen a shark in the area at all, although he remembers hearing a few years ago about one swimming around Melmerby Beach.
He says the sighting won’t prevent him from venturing out on the ocean.
“They’re magnificent creatures that won’t harm us,” he said.
Matt Gunning, a friend of Whaley’s, said it makes him a little more aware that they're there, but won't keep him from kayaking in the area.
"It’s healthy to respect what might be lurking under there," Gunning said. "That said, they’ve probably been there for quite a while and they probably try to avoid us as much as we try to avoid them."