Sharks have existed in our waters since the age of the Dinosaurs. They live in every ocean on Earth, including the waters of the Oregon Coast. Sharks have remained virtually the same for 350 million years and is the largest and one of the most feared fish in the sea. Sharks are also essential to the equilibrium of the marine biotope.
Of the over 450 species of sharks, only 15 or so can be found in Oregon waters and yes, the Great White Shark is one of them. On Monday a 12-foot shark brought into Depoe Bay by some recreational fishermen has been confirmed as a great white.
The anglers told the State Police Fish and Wildlife Division officer at the dock that the shark had become entangled in their crab gear and was brought to the surface when they pulled in the pots. It is unclear if the great white was alive or dead when it reached the surface.
Under both federal and state laws, taking or possessing a great white shark is illegal. And the shark was confiscated by the officer and released to the Hatfield Marine Science Center at Oregon State University, where Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists identified it as being a great white.
There are always a few Great White’s off the Oregon Coast but they are usually not close to the beach. Our Oregon Coast ocean is usually a bit too cold for them in the summer months. (FYI Oregon Ocean temperatures are actually warmer in the winter) This year our Oregon Coast ocean temperatures are warmer than normal and it is not surprising that this would bring Great White Sharks a closer to shore.