Slow-Cruising Bluntnose Sixgill Shark
Appearing out of the darkness 200m (650 ft) deep in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, a bluntnose sixgill shark cruised by ROV Hercules. Resting along the seafloor during the day, these sharks cruise closer to the surface at night to feed. One of the larger sharks in the Eastern Pacific, they can stretch over 16ft long, bluntnose to tail!
The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) is one of the agencies tasked with the protection of deep-water habitats, commercially important species, and deep sea coral ecosystems around the islands, yet lacks a detailed understanding of the distribution, abundance, and condition of the resources within the Sanctuary. Less than 50% of the seafloor within the CINMS boundaries has been mapped by high-resolution sonar, and the 2016 Nautilus expedition to the same region worked to cut this knowledge gap nearly in half.