The waters surrounding Spain aren’t particularly recognized for being home to great white sharks. With that in mind, you’d be hard-pressed to spot one in the wild there.
But in a stroke of luck, Spanish animal conservation group Alnitak happened upon one last week while studying various marine animals, such as dolphins, manta rays, and sea turtles, just to name a few.
Image Credit: Alnitak Marine Science and Education
Specialists who were with the conservation group at the time allegedly followed the large fish for an hour while to capture video footage to document the historic sighting.
“We saw a black fin and straight away could see it was a very big shark,” recalled Fernando López-Mirones, a documentary creator that happened to be on the boat with the Alnitak researchers at the time.
“The conditions in the sea were amazing and we had the specimen around three meters from the boat, and we could watch it up close for 70 minutes,” he continued.
What makes the great white shark sighting such a momentous event? Mostly because there haven’t been any ‘officially’ documented great white shark sightings in Spain since 1976 – that’s more than four decades ago.
There have been numerous undocumented great white shark encounters in Spain over the years, but each case lacked video evidence. Thursday’s sighting, which conveniently came with video verification, involved a five-meter-long specimen and validates the longstanding claims that great white sharks still inhabit these parts of the ocean.
More importantly, the sighting may spur additional great white shark-related research to see just how many of the large fish inhabit these waters. Either way, it should be interesting to see how this sighting might impact animal conservation in the region.