Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Sardines, Shark Land On North Oregon Coast

Published 09/23/09 at 4:23 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

The shark's tail is almost as long as its body (photo Seaside Aquarium)

(Seaside, Oregon) – With the start of sardine fishing season, all manner of natural things have gone bonkers on the north coast. Hundreds of sardines have been washing up around Seaside and Gearhart, and a 12-foot shark rarely seen on the Oregon coast rolled up onto a local beach as well.

The shark was a Thresher shark, said Tiffany Boothe, with the Seaside Aquarium. It appeared in the surf about 3:45 p.m. on Monday, apparently the first aquarium staff have seen in 13 years. “The last was about 1996,” said Boothe.

Although the sharks are native to Oregon waters, it’s rare to seem them wash up. “They are more commonly found off the California coastline,” Boothe said. “During the spring and summer adults and sub-adults congregate to inshore waters to feed on small bait fish, such as herring and sardines.”

Boothe said it was an impressive specimen, with a tail about as long as its body.

With sardine season in full swing, they are cruising through the schools of fish, using their enormous tails to whack the fish and stun them, making them easier to munch on.

Hundreds of sardines are hitting Seaside beaches (photo Seaside Aquarium)

The maximum size of a Thresher shark is 20 feet, averaging about 18 feet. 

Boothe believes the shark died when it got caught in a net from a sardine boat, even after they cut the creature loose. “There’s no way they could have prevented that from happening,” she said.

The photo shows a fair amount of blood coming from the creature while lying in the sand, but Boothe said this likely did not come from any blunt trauma. When sea creatures die, they often have blood coming from their mouths.

The shark also had two sardines stuck in its gills.

Sardine season only lasts for ten days, so bundles of boats have been out near the shoreline of Seaside this week, frantically trying to catch their limit. The result has been sardines of biblical proportions washing up on the beaches.

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; major specials now that winter is here
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
major specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Winter's enticing specials now
In Lincoln City:
Major winter specials now
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
major specials this season
In Newport:
Look for many specials
In Waldport
New amenities offered; specials and tempting prices now
In Yachats, Florence
Big deals available; lodgings not listed anywhere else

Dozens of fishing boats are grabbing sardines close to shore (photo Seaside Aquarium)

“Hundreds of seven- to ten-inch sardines are washing ashore along the Seaside and Gearhart beach,” Boothe said.

So are the beaches going to become smelly with the stench of rotting fish? No, Boothe said. Some other predator is picking the beaches squeaky clean.

“The seagulls are going crazy,” Boothe said. “In fact, we got an email asking why there are so many seagulls on the beaches.”

In related Seaside Aquarium news, the facility recently acquired two Horn sharks, which are about two feet long and have a leopard-like appearance.

A 12-foot Thresher Shark on Seaside's beach (photo Seaside Aquarium)

Recent Oregon Coast Nature News

Coast to Coast Battle: Comparing Oregon Beaches to Other Shores There is something truly unique about this chunk of Pacific shoreline

Oregon Coast is 54,000 Pounds Lighter SaturdayMore than 3,700 volunteers turned out for the SOLV Great Oregon Fall Beach Cleanup

Oregon Coast Second Summer Begins It's still a bit of a secret to fans of the beaches

Coast Coughs Up Kooky Creatures and Critters From whales, weird phytoplankton to sea lions popping up places they shouldn't, to funky bugs and interesting birds

Hotels in Seaside - Where to eat - Seaside Maps and Virtual Tours

More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....


Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss


Coastal Spotlight

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Oregon Coast Geologist Weighs In on Kiwanda Sinkhole: Why, How and Its Future
A large sinkhole opened up, and that is likely to get bigger. Sciences, geology, Pacific City
Quirky Oregon Coast History Embedded in Seaside: Mystery Wall, Fishing Pier
Two mysteries on the Prom: one hinted at, the other hidden.
Hatfield Marine Science Center Brings Famed Fossil Fest Back to Central Orego...
February 11 in Newport: learn about fossils or get your own ID'd. Newport events
Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad Announces Surprises, Including Cab Rides in Engine
More ride slots, dinner excursions, a moonlight ride, more. WEather
N. Oregon Coast's Cape Kiwanda Develops Dangerous Sinkhole - Video
Why the geology here means this could get worse. Sciences
Fourth Whale Carcass on Oregon Coast in Two Weeks, This Time Cannon Beach, Video
It seems unusual - but is it? Experts explain it's not. Marince sciences
Oregon Coast Spot That Hisses, Explodes, Drops Away and Launches in the Air -...
Cook's Chasm near Yachats: Plenty of atmosphere and action
Three Whales Hit Oregon Coast Sands: Causes of Death Released
One near Winchester Bay, two at Fort Stevens. Marine sciences
S. Oregon Coast Gets Another Pause on Recreational Crabbing - from Charleston...
Affecting Charleston, Bandon, Langlois, Nesika and Port Orford. Marine science
Charleston Crab Feed Unleashes Monster of a Feast on S. Oregon Coast
38th Annual Charleston Crab Feed back in its hometown Feb. 11. South Oregon coast events, Coos Bay
Second Deceased Whale Washes Up in Same N. Oregon Coast Spot
A baby gray whale 100 yards from the larger sperm whale. Marine sciences
Little Oregon / Washington Coast Critter Looks Like Either Space Alien or Bub...
100 different kinds of comb jellies, sometimes hiding in plain sight. Marine science
King Tides Weekend: Few Surges for Oregon Coast / Washington Coast, But Still...
No major sea swells coming, but possible flooding
Central Oregon Coast's Big Blue Film Fest Shows 16 Films at Newport's Hatfield
January 27 - 28, to raise awareness about marine issues. Newport events
Cape Lookout's Stunning Colors: One Serious Oregon Coast Treasure in Pics and...
Rather small beach access that gives way to much bigger things. Oceanside, Netarts
Large Sperm Whale Strands on N. Oregon Coast near Iredale Shipwreck; Cause of...
It currently sits near the wreck of the Peter Iredale. Marine sciences
Florence's Rhody Fest Sets Dates for Oregon Coast Pageantry, Announces Theme
A 1920s theme that gets started on May 18. Florence events
Cannon Beach Astronomy: the Sea Above the Oregon Coast
Little to no light interference from town brings photographic surprises
Oregon Coast Lost Legends: Gold Mine, Sea Monster to Treasures Debunked, Coos...
Coos Bay's DB Cooper, Gold Myths, Treasure Ship, Imploding Whale. History, sciences
Washington Coast's Westport Begins Dropping Real Japanese Glass Floats For 2023
1,000 of the real thing are actually landing via tides, too. Washington coast events
Moon Halo or Lunar Corona: What You're Seeing on Washington Coast / Oregon Coast
Both are the product of refraction and are lovely. Sciences
Cape Kiwanda's Killer Views and Hues to Strange Sounds Atop Oregon Coast Land...
A rugged, craggly attraction, full of many nooks and crannies. Pacific City

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted

Oregon Coast Lodging


Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details