Northwest Sharks and Skates

Longnose Skate - Raja rhina
Longnose Skate - Raja rhina Pacific Starry Skate Ratfish Ratfish Ratfish Ratfish Big Skate Big Skate Big Skate Big Skate Pacific Starry Skate Pacific Starry Skate Pacific Starry Skate Pacific Starry Skate Pacific Starry Skate Pacific Starry Skate Longnose Skate - Raja rhina Longnose Skate - Raja rhina Longnose Skate - Raja rhina Longnose Skate - Raja rhina

There are roughly seventeen to twenty species of sharks, skates, rays, and chimaeras that inhabit the Pacific Northwest. These particular types of fish have an extensive range, from as far north as Alaska and south to Baja California with their habitats varying accordingly, although most are deep water dwellers.

 

Pacific Northwest Sharks

The sharks that inhabit the waters of the Pacific Northwest include a variety of different species. Some of these sharks dwell deep in the depths or roam the pelagic zone of the ocean far beyond the reach of most divers, however some can be found closer to shore and can provide a truly unique underwater photographic opportunity.  

Sixgill Shark - Hexanchus griseus

 Sixgill Shark, Mckenzie Byte Victoria BC at 95 feet deep  Sixgill Shark, Mckenzie Byte Victoria BC at 95 feet deep

Sixgill Shark (Cow Shark) - Hexanchus griseus

Sixgill Shark Species Information and Images

 

Pacific Spiny Dogfish - Squalus acanthias

Spiny Pacific Dogfish, Willis Point Victoria BC  Spiny Pacific Dogfish, Stewart Island BC

Spiny Dogfish (Piked Dogfish) - Squalus acanthias

Pacific Spiny Dogfish Species Information and Images

 

Chimaeras (Family Chimaeridae)

Chimaeras are cartilaginous fish in the order Chimaeriformes, known informally as ghost sharks, ratfish, spookfish, or rabbitfishes. They are believed to be the oldest and most enigmatic groups of fishes alive today. At one time these fish were a diverse and abundant group based on fossil records.  Their closest living relatives are sharks, though in evolutionary terms they branched off from sharks nearly 400 million years ago and have remained isolated ever since. These fish are typically confined to deep water however a few species including the Pacific Spotted Ratfish can be found in shallow intertidal waters. 

Pacific Spotted Ratfish - Hydrolagus colliei

Spotted Ratfish - Hydrolagus colliei

Pacific Spotted Ratfish Species Information and Images


Pacific Northwest Skates (Family Rajidae)

The family of skates, scientifically termed Rajidae contains about three hundred species. These thin, broad creatures most often dwell in the coastal regions of the continental shelves in cool northern or temperate seas. These unique creatures cruise just off the bottom while gracefully sweeping their immense pectoral fins, or "wings." They may bury themselves in the sand or gravel to conceal their bodies from both predator and prey. As an underwater photographer, having both a keen eye, and by diving in areas with sandy flat bottoms may reveal an encounter with a skate.   

Big Skate - Raja binoculata

Big Skate - Raja binoculata   Big Skate - Raja binoculata   Big Skate - Raja binoculata

Big Skate - Raja bioculata

Big Skate Species Information and Images

 

Starry Skate - Raja stellulata

Starry Skate - Raja stellulata   Starry Skate - Raja stellulata   Starry Skate - Raja stellulata

Starry Skate - Raja stellulata

Starry Skate Species Information and Images

 

Longnose Skate - Raja rhina

     

Longnose Skate - Raja rhina

Longnose Skate Species Information and Images

 

Other sharks and skates of the Pacific Northwest

Bluntnose Sevengill Shark - Notorynchus cepedianus

Basking Shark - Cetorhinus maximus
Brown Cat Shark - Apristurus brunneus
Pacific Sleeper Shark - Somniosus pacificus
Salmon Shark - Lamna ditropisSoupfin Shark - Galeorhinus galeus
Blue Shark - Prionace glaucaThintail Thresher Shark - Alopias vulpinus
Short Fin Mako Shark - Isurus oxyrinchusTope Shark - Galeorhinus galeus
Sandpaper Skate - Bathyraja interrupta 





Pacific Marine Imaging

Victoria , BC

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