JAWS! Great White shark spotted off Balearic Islands

Marine biologists have photographed a great white shark in Spanish waters for what is believed to be the first time in three decades.

JAWS! Great White shark spotted off Balearic Islands
Photo: ALNITAK 2018 / Facebook

The team of scientists spotted the great white (Carcharodon carcharias) in waters off Cabrera, an uninhabited island and nature reserve 11 miles south of Mallorca.

The shark measuring five metres (16.5ft) in length was filmed around 10am on Thursday morning by the team led by marine biologist Ricardo Sagarminaga van Buiten. The image was later uploaded onto the Facebook page of the Alnitak expedition 2018.

“In recent years there were possible unconfirmed sightings and various rumours, but this is the first scientific observation of the presence of the white shark in Spanish waters for at least 30 years.”

Alnitak, a research and conservation project, said two 16-year-old students had been aboard and were among those who had witnessed the sighting.

Great whites are one of 46 species of shark reported in the Mediterranean, although sightings are incredibly rare.

.The more common Blue shark — tintorera in Spanish – have been blamed for closing beaches when their presence in detected close to the shore.



Spain bans sailing after spate of rogue killer whale attacks on yachts

Spain has temporarily banned sailboats from a stretch of its northwestern coast after several vessels were damaged in attacks by orcas, or killer whales, in recent weeks.

Spain bans sailing after spate of rogue killer whale attacks on yachts
File photo: AFP

The week-long ban, which came into effect on Tuesday night, applies to sailboats under 15 metres (49 feet) long and aims to protect “both people and the orcas”, the transport ministry said in a statement.

It extends between the capes of the Priorino Grande and la Punta de Estaca de Bares in the northwestern region of Galicia, a stretch of about 100 kilometres (60 miles) of coast.

The first attack was reported on August 19th, said the ministry. Since then there had been several more orca attacks against sailboats, causing various degrees of damage to the vessels, mostly to their rudders.

The sailboats attacked were all under 15 metres long.   

A video posted on social media shows orcas swimming alongside and underneath a Spanish naval yacht in August off the coast of Galicia before the sailors realise the rudder has been damaged.

The prohibition could be extended to other stretches of the coast “following the migration routes” of the orcas, which are categorised as “vulnerable” species, the ministry added.

Orcas can weigh up to six tonnes and grow up to 32 feet in length — about the size of a school bus — according to the World Wildlife Fund.