Back in 2013 the Vancouver Aquarium launched their Sharks and Rays exhibit with a stunt that fooled a few people.
They installed a shark fin in the water just off the seawall in Coal Harbour, and when the tide went down it unveiled a sign for the exhibit.
Earlier this week we were sent the photo below from reader Kate White. It was shot on June 18 at the foot of Bayswater Street, a few blocks west of Kits Beach. It’s an actual shark.
White told us she “wondered if it was not where it was supposed to be because the waters are getting warmer.”
Lee Newman, Vancouver Aquarium’s curator of fishes, tells us that while it’s hard to tell from the photo it’s likely a Pacific Spiny Dogfish variety of shark.
This species is seen in shallow waters like this rather infrequently, so the animal was either hunting or in distress (if you see one like this and it looks to be in trouble, call the aquarium so they can rescue it).
They grow to up to 130 centimetres in length and can live 100 years, but they’re not known as a threat to humans. This thing would never attack you. You’re safe in Vancouver’s waters.
Historically they’re one of the most abundant shark species in the world, though populations have declined due to overfishing.
You can actually see one on display at the aquarium, and in fact we published a story in February about how they rescued one and released it back into the wild.
If you want to learn about the other seven species of sharks that live in this part of the world check out our 8 sharks you didn’t know lived in BC waters.