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 the second largest shark in the world and the largest fish that is common to the waters of New England. This gentle giant filters copepods out of the water by slowly swimming with its mouth wide open. 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 a community-sighting network for the ocean sunfish, Mola mola, a very large and unusual looking fish. Ocean sunfish can reach gigantic lengths and weights and are considered to be the heaviest bony fish in the world. When off New England, ocean sunfish eat 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. Also, each fall ocean sunfish strand on Cape Cod Beaches. Immediately report live and dead strandings of this species by calling NECWA at 508-566-0009.
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 an all-volunteer nonprofit based in Southeastern Massachusetts. Both projects began in 2005 with the intent of collecting information on these large pelagic fish that are common visitors to New England waters. This includes the waters of Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts Bay, and the Bay of Fundy. Use this site not only to report your sightings of basking sharks and ocean sunfish, but also to learn more about these very unusual species.
To learn more about NECWA and the work we do on behalf of coastal marine wildlife, go to our NECWA website and our NECWA News Blog. Keep in touch with us through our social networking sites, including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.