The great shark in the bay, one of the most fascinating mysteries of the sea

 The great shark remains in some ways one of the most fascinating mysteries of the deep sea. The sighting reported a few days ago in the waters of the Gulf of Trieste represents an event as extraordinary as it is important for the entire scientific community. The author of the video, which captures the specimen in the stretch of sea between Santa Croce and Marina di Aurisina, refused permission to publish the images, which is a respectable decision from a personal point of view, a little less so, considering the general lack of information and the need for better insight on the part of researchers to kind.

European Sharks Project

For this reason, Eleonora de Sabata, spokeswoman for LIFE European Sharks, a transnational project funded by the European Union, which will spend the next four years investigating the conditions of sharks living in the Mediterranean Sea, half of which are at risk of extinction. The project involves public authorities and universities from different countries and brings together scientists from Italy, Spain, France, Croatia and Slovenia. “We are launching an appeal for anyone who sees it to take some photos or upload videos – de Sabata said – so we can share as much information as possible about the specimen.” The species is harmless, feeds on plankton and has been reported several times off the coast of Puglia and Sardinia along the Italian coast. “In the Adriatic, sightings are less frequent – continues De Sabata – but this one takes on special importance in recent days, as it is the first of the season.”

Sightings in the bay are exceptional, an eight-meter longfin shark

“Don’t Stress Him”

These sharks are capable of migrating thousands of kilometers in length, but little is known about their breeding grounds. “It’s a crazy animal – de Sabata again – that definitely shouldn’t be stressed or get too close to motorboats because the propeller could injure it.” There have been several attempts to mark it in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea in order to obtain important information about behavior, pregnancy and other elements worthy of study. “We know that gestation can be very long and that at birth it can range from one to six specimens, but much of the subject remains a mystery.”

“That doesn’t mean others won’t arrive”

It may behave abnormally. “Specimens capable of jumping out of the water have been spotted in the Atlantic Ocean. The main reason is unknown, it could be courtship behavior.” They occur in the Adriatic approximately every ten years. Contrary to what one might imagine, longfin sharks do not follow large ships and their movement is also and primarily dictated by the search for plankton. “2001 was an exceptional year for sightings in the northern Adriatic – concludes the project spokesperson – now that the first one has arrived, it is not a given that another will not arrive”.

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