New England Basking Shark & Ocean Sunfish Project
The New England Basking Shark Project (NEBShark) and the New England Ocean Sunfish Project (NEOSunfish) are community-sighting networks for large marine fish that live in the Gulf of Maine. Basking sharks and ocean sunfish are common visitors to our cold, productive waters and many individuals are observed throughout the spring, summer and fall in the waters off New England. Use this website to report sightings of basking sharks and ocean sunfish that you see offshore. Your efforts will help us learn more about the biology and ecology of these large and very special ocean wanderers. If you find a stranded animal (alive or dead), please call our office at 508-566-0009.
The New England Basking Shark Project (NEBShark) is a community-sighting network for the basking shark, Cetorhinus maximus , the most common shark that can be observed feeding or traveling at the water's surface. Basking sharks are one of the largest fish offshore, but these gentle giants filter plankton, not people, from the water. Little is known about the life of the basking shark off New England. Use NEBShark to report your sightings of basking sharks observed from a boat or from a beach. Your efforts will help us better understand their movements and behaviors offshore.
Click Here to report sighting of a Basking Shark
The New England Ocean Sunfish Project (NEOSunfish) is also a community-sighting project, but the species of interest is the ocean sunfish, Mola mola, a very unusual looking fish. Ocean sunfish can reach gigantic lengths and weights and are considered to be the heaviest bony fish in the world. Each summer, ocean sunfish migrate north to feed on jellyfish and other gelatinous critters abundant in our cold waters. Use NEOSunfish to report your sightings of ocean sunfish seen offshore or from a beach. Your efforts will help us better understand the life of the ocean sunfish when in our New England waters.
Click Here to report sighting of an Ocean Sunfish
Sighting Networks Are Sponsored by NECWA
NEBShark and NEOSunfish are ongoing projects sponsored by the New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance (NECWA). NECWA is a nonprofit organization based in Southeastern Massachusetts. Both projects began in 2005 in an attempt to collect sighting information on basking sharks and ocean sunfish observed in the Gulf of Maine, including the waters of Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts Bay and the Bay of Fundy. To learn more about these large coastal pelagic fish, access the menu bar on the top and visit our NECWA website and our NECWA News Blog to learn more about the other unique marine wildlife that live in our waters, including whales, dolphins, seabirds, seals, sea turtles and torpedo rays.