Hatfield Marine Science Center Features Live Oregon Coast Shark Event

Hatfield Marine Science Center is hosting a live shark event off the Oregon coast

Published on 09/21/22 at 18:50
By employees of the Oregon Coast Beach Connection

Hatfield Marine Science Center is hosting a live shark event off the Oregon coast

(Newport, Oregon) – October’s Science On Tap event in Newport will give you a closer look at the shark world of the Oregon Coast. It’s actually a night of the sharks: sometimes known by brooding nicknames like Denizens of the Deep, The Man in the Gray Suit, The Landlord, The Taxman or Leviathan. (Above: Blue shark photo courtesy of Hatfield Marine Science Center)

In Oregon’s coastal waters and even on its beaches, sightings cause quite a stir — more like a panic. These creatures are met with fear and apprehension. But in reality, according to the Hatfield Marine Science Center, sharks are a critical part of marine systems.

“Especially here in Oregon, where they help support vibrant coastal fisheries and food webs,” Hatfield said. With that in mind, Hatfield’s Science on Tap series will go hybrid on October 5th – both in person and online, offering a night of sharks, science and stories.

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dr Taylor Chapple and members of his Big Fish Lab at Oregon State University will present this next Hatfield Science on Tap, taking place this Wednesday at 6 p.m. Shark. During the on-site shark dissection, overhead cameras ensure everyone gets a front-row view—whether seated at the back of the auditorium or at home.

Hatfield Exterior (Photo Copyright Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

For those wishing to attend the live event in person, it will be held in the Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building auditorium at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, 2030 SE Marine Science Drive, Newport. A social hour with food and drinks for purchase is from 5pm – 6pm

The whole thing is free, but for the online function you have to look up the login details. See https://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/main/science-tap.

Sharks are plentiful along the Oregon coast, and in some places, like Silver Point near Cannon Beach, there can be even more sharks. As one surfer once told the Oregon Coast Beach Connection, “The food chain is big there.”

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However, shark attacks in the waters are rare, with only a handful of bites spanning several decades. People living in this region don’t care about humans, but mistakes sometimes happen when they ‘taste’ what they think might be a seal or some other form of food.

Among the most populous are broadnose sevengill sharks. They are found dead and washed up here and periodically on the Washington coast.

Broadnose sevengill sharks are known to migrate from Alaska to California off the Oregon coast and all of the world’s oceans. They are predators that can be found in large concentrations. You can regularly see them live at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Jim Burke of the Oregon Coast Aquarium shared some of his caring experiences.

“In the wild, they eat seals, other sharks, other fish, anything they can get their teeth on,” Burke said. “We feed them many of the same things, including salmon, mackerel, herring, squid and sardines three times a week.”

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Seaside Aquarium is often prone to stranding sharks on the beach, such as broadnose sevengills.

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Above: Great white shark photographed by the US Coast Guard near Bandon

Sharks at the Oregon Coast Aquarium

Shark photographed in Pacific City, courtesy of the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office

Wave sharks at the Seaside Aquarium (courtesy Tiffany Boothe)

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