Known as a “solraig” in Catalan, an endangered shortfin mako shark was spotted off the Garraf coast, south of Barcelona, on July 3.
According to the Cetacean Association, mako sharks are targets of industrial fishing, bycatches, victims of international fin trade, and highly sought after in the Asian market.
These circumstances, aggravated by the specimen’s late sexual maturity, have contributed to its decline, explain the biologists.
The mako is the fastest shark in the world, reaching 70 km/h and 4.5 meters in length. The specimen usually lives in warm waters, mainly in the open sea, and it can take them up to 18 years to reach reproductive age. They can be seen from the surface to almost 900 meters deep.
Marine biologists have monitored the ongoing decline of sharks in the Mediterranean for years. Some species, such as the basing shark and the spiny dogfish, are in decline in the Costa Brava, and even blackspotted smooth-hounds have disappeared due to the fishing pressure of this marine region on the Catalan coasts.
Sharks are apical predators in coastal and oceanic ecosystems. Their role is decisive in the control of trophic networks.