The Vancouver Sun has an interesting article about the depletion of basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) populations from British Columbia waters over the last several decades. It begins with the story of how basking sharks were targeted for slaughter by a federal fisheries vessel equipped with a blade designed specifically to slice open basking sharks and notes a one-day record of 34 confirmed kills. The sharks were targeted due to the fact that they were becoming troublesome for fishermen by getting entangled in commercial fishing nets.
The story then flashes forward to present day and a much different view of the basking shark, which is now endangered in the waters of B.C. Sightings of the sharks have become so rare, that federal shark biologist Romney McPhie compares basking shark sightings in B.C. waters to sightings of the mythical Sasquatch and Ogopogo. However, there have been some confirmed sightings over recent decades including an encounter that BBC filmographer, Florian Graner, filmed in July of 2009.
You can check out the entire article on basking sharks at the Vancouver Sun website.