“We weren’t prepared”: a new shark filmed 600 meters from a Var beach

After the episode of the blue-skinned shark in Hyères and that of the three-meter-long female discovered in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, a new shark story is set on the Var coast. It dates back to last week.

On July 24, an 80cm mako shark was identified in Fréjus. The young animal was defined by the lure of a Raphaëlois who was trolling, 600 meters off a beach in Saint-Aygulf. “We were fishing for mackerel and weren’t prepared for this encounter. It took us between half an hour and 45 minutes to get the shark out of the water and release it”says Patrick Ferrario who specifies that he never “observed a shark of this species” when going out to sea.

According to Nicolas Ziani, head of the Marseille group for the study of sharks and rays, the appearance of the animal so close to the coast is explained by the presence of a nursery. “The females approach to give birth and go back to live offshore, up to 500 meters deep. It is more common to see blue sharks there, encounters with makos are more exceptional”details the scientist.

The fastest in the world

These four-meter sharks are among the fastest in the world. They can reach a top speed of 100km/h and hunt tuna, swordfish and even some cetaceans. Their morphology and massive jaw resemble those of the great white shark. “They are not more dangerous than blue sharks, but are more nervous and aggressive than their congeners. Rather elusive, they are not hated by humans. Nevertheless, if one is observed, it is advisable to stay distance”recommends Nicolas Ziani.

According to the latter, only a dozen attacks at sea have been replaced since the 16th century. These animals are classified as species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and are in decline by 90% in the Mediterranean. Their chair, however consumed by countries like “Italy or Spain”, is prohibited for sale.

“Boaters should keep in mind that the sea is not a highway. I have already found dead turtles, sunfish mutilated by propellers. Sharks could be among these victims if people continue to rush at 40 knots at sea”, warns Patrick Ferrario who urges sailors to slow down to respect the underwater fauna. If you see a shark, the Marseille shark study group invites you to report it by email to [email protected]

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