Gaskin Museum of Marine Life - Bay of Fundy/Grand Manan Island FRESHWATER FISH: Arthur MacKay collected specimens of freshwater fishes during field work from 1962-1964.  He summarizes his work in "The Freshwater Fishes of Grand Manan Island.  Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada."     American eel, brook trout, sticklebacks and mummichog are euryhaline (can survive wide ranges of salt levels) and no doubt reached Grand Manan via the ocean.  Smallmouth bass and brown trout were introduced.  Eastern banded killifish and northern lake chub are freshwater only.  It is not known if they were introduced as feed for bass or are native.  A summary of his findings include:
Freshwater Fish
Status and Distribution
Brown Trout (Salmo trutta L.)
6 fish introduced in Long Pond; status unknown
Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis (Mitchill))
Native and Introduced
 all drainage systems
American Eel (Anguilla rostrata (LeSueur))
believed in all drainage systems with connection to ocean
Eastern Banded Killifish (Fundulus diaphanus (LeSueur))
Native or Introduced?
Millers Pond, possibly other ponds and streams 
Mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus (Linnaeus))
Big, Long, & Whale Cove Ponds, probably Castalia Marsh and lower reaches of some streams
Northern Lake Chub (Coesius plumbeus (Linnaeus))
Native or Introduced?
Millers Pond
Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui Lacepede)
introduced in Millers Pond and Eel Lake
Ninespine Stickleback (Pungitius pungitius (Linnaeus))
Long & Big Ponds, Eel Lake, probably other lakes and streams
Three-spined Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus Linnaeus)
Salt water ponds

MARINE FISH: There are over 500 species of fish found in Atlantic Canada not including 37 species of cartilaginous fish (sharks, skates, rays & chimaeras); most are recorded from the Bay of Fundy. However, the number of commercially harvested fish is much less. These fish can be roughly grouped into groundfish (cod, haddock, pollock, etc.) those occurring on or close to the bottom, and pelagic - those occurring in the water column usually away from the bottom (tuna, herring, mackerel, etc.). 
Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is an anadromous fish species, migrating to the oceans as smolts and returning as adults to spawn in fresh water streams. A prized sport fish salmon in fresh water are caught in gill nets or fly fishing, however, the rivers in the Bay of Fundy are closed because of low returns of spawning salmon. Since the late 1970's, Atlantic salmon smolts, purchased from fresh water hatcheries, have been kept in sea cages in the Bay of Fundy and grown to a marketable size (3.6 to 5.5kg or 8 to 12lb). 
Cod (Gadus morhua)
Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus)
Pollock (Pollachius virens)
Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) is the largest and fastest of the tuna reaching lengths of over 270cm (or 9') and a maximum weight of 680kg (or 1500lb). Spawning in warm waters, the adult tuna migrate north to feed on schooling fish such as herring. Bluefins maintain a constant warm body by continuously swimming. 
Winter Flounder
Halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus)
Cusk (Brosme brosme)Atlantic Cod
Mackerel (Scomber scombrus)Atlantic Mackerel
Redfish (Sebastes sp.)
Monkfish (Lophius americanus)
Hagfish (Myxine glutinosa)
Herring (Harengus harengus) a key species in the Bay of Fundy

The Bay of Fundy waters contain many species of sharks, skates and rays despite the misconception that the waters are too cold for these cartilaginous fish. Many are only spring to fall visitors but some live year-round. Chimaeras, another cartilaginous fish, are rarely reported.

Common Sharks:
Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthias) - The most common shark in the Bay of Fundy, this small schooling shark (70-100cm) is frequently caught during the summer but unfortunately are not usually sold. A processing plant for dogfish was operated at Ingalls Head on Grand Manan for a few years until it caught fire from a lightening strike. The plant was not rebuilt. Spiny dogfish is marketed as "rock shark", "rock cod" or "rock salmon" and is often eaten in Europe and used for English fish and chips. Dogfish are also dissected in science classes and a market for biological supplies exists. It is probably the most written about shark in the world because of the latter, its abundance and the negative effect on commercial fisheries.
Photo modified from Sharks. L Campagno, C Simpfendorfer, JE McCosker, K Holland, C Lowe, B Wetherbee, A Bush, and C Meyer. Readers Digest Series. 1998. Weldon Owen Pty Ltd., Pleasantville, NY.
Basking Shark(Cetorhinus maximus) - The second largest shark (over 10m or 33'), these slow moving sharks filter feeding on zooplankton by skimming the small organisms from the water with modified gill structures. Their gill slits almost encircled their head and they can be seen swimming just beneath the surface with their mouths agape, filter feeding. These sharks are locally called "mud sharks". Basking sharks come to the surface on calm days, and swim slowly with the top of their dorsal fin exposed, hence the name "basking". They are proficient at breaching - leaping clear of the water as whales do, although an explanation for this behaviour in basking sharks is not readily known.
Photo modified from Sharks, History and Biology of the Lords of the Sea. A. Mojetta. 1997. Swan Hill Press.
Great White Shark(Carcharodon carcharias) - These large "man-eaters" are usually found in the Bay of Fundy between April and November, their presence noted when caught in fishing gear. The most notable of these occurred in mid-June,1930, in a herring weir off White Head Island. If authenticated, it would be the largest great white ever reported (11.28m or 37'), however, no photographs or verification of the length exists, although a tooth was donated to the Royal Ontario Museum. The oil from the liver amounted to 955 litres (210 gal) and the stomach contained two and one-half seals. The diet of great whites is varied, ranging from mackerel, hake, salmon and tuna to other sharks, seabirds, marine mammals and sea turtles. All great whites examined from the Bay have had harbour porpoises or harbour seals in their stomachs. Numbers of sharks is always difficult to determine and may vary greatly from year to year. There are no recorded "shark attacks" on swimmers in the Bay.
Photo modified from Sharks. L Campagno, C Simpfendorfer, JE McCosker, K Holland, C Lowe, B Wetherbee, A Bush, and C Meyer. 1998 Readers Digest Series.  Weldon Owen Pty Ltd., Pleasantville, NY
Thresher Shark(Alopias vulpinus) - Summer visitors, these medium sized sharks (3.3 to 5.5 m or 10 to 18') are easily recognized because of their long tail, often the same length as the body. Usually eating schooling fish such as herring and mackerel, or squid and crustaceans, they use their long tail to circle the fish into a tight ball. There are stories of threshers attacking whales but these reports are difficult to verify.
Photo modified from Sharks and Rays. TC Tricas, K Deacon, P Last, JE McCosker, TI Walker, L Taylor. 1997. Nature Company Guides, Time Life Book Series. Weldon Owen Pty Ltd., San Francisco.

Porbeagle(Lamna nasus) - Caught in fishing gear incidentally, this medium sized shark (max. length 3m or 10') is usually marketed as "Mako". Porbeagles eat mostly herring, mackerel and squid, small cod, hake and cusk. They may occur year round but are most common from spring to fall.

Occasional or Rarely Occurring Sharks:
Shortfin Mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Sand Tiger Shark (Odontaspis taurus)
Deepsea Cat Shark (Apristurus profundorum)
Oceanic Whitetip Shark (Carcharhinus longimanus)
Dusky Shark (Carcharhinus obscurus)
Smooth Dogfish (Mustelus canis)
Blue Shark (Prionace glauca)
Atlantic Sharpnose Shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae
Smooth Hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena)
Black Dogfish (Centroscyllium fabricii)
Portuguese Shark (Centroscymnus coeloepis)
Rough Sagre (Etmopterus princeps)
Greenland Shark (Somniosus microcephalus)

For more great info on shark biology, anatomy and research check out the Canadian Shark Research Laboratory.

Common Skates & Rays:
Little Skate (Raja erinacea) - Bottom living, winter residents, they reach a max. length of 53 cm (or 21"). They eat bottom living invertebrates such as crustaceans. Of little value to the fishing industry, they are used for fish meal. They are also used as laboratory animals. Barndoor Skate (Raja laevis) - Bottom living, probably year-round, they reach a length of 127-142cm (or 50-56"). They eat bivalves, squid, rock crabs, lobsters, shrimp, marine worms, and a variety of fish. Of little value to the fishing industry, they are sometimes ground into fish meal.
Winter Skate (Raja ocellata) - Bottom living, winter residents, they reach a length of 80cm (or 31"). They eat crustaceans, small fish, and bivalves. Of little value to the fishing industry, they are sometimes ground into fish meal. They are also used occasionally as laboratory animals. Thorny Skate(Raja radiata) - Bottom living, found year round, they reach max. lengths of 100 cm (or 39") although size varies with location. They eat polychaetes, crustaceans and fish. Of little value to the fishing industry, they are sometimes ground into fish meal. In Europe these skates are marketed for human consumption.
Smooth Skate (Raja senta) - Bottom living, year round residents, they reach max. lengths of 60 cm (24"). They feed on crustaceans. Of little value to the fishing industry, they are sometimes ground into fish meal.
Rarely Occurring or Occasional Skates & Rays:
Atlantic Torpedo (Torpedo nobiliana) - Although not common it is worth noting that this ray can truly be called "electric". Electric shocks are emitted when the ray is touched in the head region. It ranges from 1.5-1.8m (5-6') in length and is usually found in warmer waters but specimens have been collected from Grand Manan waters.
Deepwater Skate (Bathyraja richardsoni)
Spinytail Skate (Raja spinicauda)
Roughtail Stingray (Dasyatis centroura)

Chocolate Skate (Raja bathyphila)
Round Skate (Raja fyllae)
Shorttail Skate (Raja jenseni)
White Skate (Raja lintea)
Soft Skate (Raja mollis)
Pelagic Stingray (Dasyatis violacea)
Atlantic Manta (Manta birostris)
Rarely Occurring or Occasional Chimeras:
Longnose Chimaera (Harriotta raleighana) Knifenose Chimaera (Rhinochimaera atlantica)
Deepwater Chimaera (Hydrolagus affinis)

Scott, W.B. and M.G. Scott. 1988. Atlantic Fishes of Canada. Can.Bull.Fish.Aquat.Sci. 219:731pp.

Canadian Shark Research Laboratory  

American Lobster
Lobsters (Homarus americanus) are a predatory clawed crustacean which can attain large sizes (64cm or 25" and over 13.5kg or 30lb). Lobsters are also scavengers. They have both a "pincer" and a "crusher" claw.  Lobsters are caught in traps and cooked in the shell either boiled or steamed.
Scallops (Placopecten magellanicus) are a filter feeding, bivalve mollusks that can reach 20cm (8"). The "meat" is actually two muscles used to regulate opening and closing of the shells. Scallops are a prized seafood dragged from the bottom.  Artificial scallops are often available at a lower price in fish markets but are usually made from skate wings.
Deep Sea Scallop
Sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) are a spiny invertebrate with five-sided symmetry related to sea stars. Urchins attained a size of 75mm or 3" and are usually green with a purplish hue. The spines are relatively short. Urchins graze algae and other material from rocks with a specialized mouth part, called an "Aristotle's lantern". They also scavenge and are attracted to baited lobster traps. When found in tide pools, gulls readily consume urchins by breaking them open. Urchins sometimes camouflage themselves with bits of seaweed, shells and small pebbles. Urchins are harvested primarily for the roe or eggs which are used in sushi.
Common periwinkles (Littorina littorea) were brought to Nova Scotia from Europe in the 1800's and have colonized the Maritimes. This marine snail up to 31mm (or 1 1/4") is brownish with stripes around the shell. Periwinkles are grazers of seaweeds. By late summer many seaweeds show the effect of grazing - small holes through the fronds or ragged edges, but not all holes in seaweeds are caused by periwinkle; some algae like the colander kelp (Agarum cibrosum), are naturally "holey". Periwinkles are usually steamed and then picked out of the shell.
Soft-Shell Clam
A bivalve mollusk, soft-shelled clams (Mya arenaria) are filter feeders reaching up to 150mm or 6". The clams remain buried in mud or gravel/mud mixture throughout the tide cycle and have a retractable siphon or neck which can be extended to the surface when the tide is in or retracted when the tide is out. This is the clam which squirts water upwards when you walk over tideflats. These clams are usually steamed which gives them their other name - steamer clams.
Jonah Crab (Cancer borealis) A crab similar to the rock crab but slightly larger (to 156 mm or 6.25"). Jonah crabs are caught in traps and used mostly for the claws. Pink (Red) Shrimp (Pandalus borealis) reaches lengths of 120 mm or 5".  This shrimp is usually in deep water.  It is the only shrimp harvested in the Bay of Fundy.
Squid (Short-finned: Illex illecebrosus, Long-finned: Loligo pealei) Abundant shallow-water squid species preyed upon by various species of fish, sharks and marine mammals. Squid often eat small herring, mackerel and krill. Long-finned quid are typically much larger than short-finned squid, with mantle lengths of 425 mm (17") compared to 225 mm (9") respectively.  Used as bait frequently but also eaten. Quahogs (Mercenaria mercenaria) are filter feeders with shells 100-150 mm (4-6"), thick, oval-shaped and strong.  These clams are dredged from the bottom.  Littlenecks, Cherrystone and Chowder are names given to various sizes of quahogs.  The scientific name Mercenaria is derived from the native use of the shell as wampum or currency.
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Page revised September 30 2006
GMWSRS 24 Route 776, Grand Manan, NB, Canada E5G 1A1

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