A great white shark was spotted off the coast of Majorca yesterday morning (June 28).
The holiday hotspot is a popular destination for British tourists who want to experience British culture in another country. Majorca is basically Britain in the Mediterranean – feel free to interpret this comparison in whatever way you see fit.
However, it looks like they’ve got a new guest invading on their turf, and it comes in the form of a great white shark and it has been dubbed a ‘historic sighting’ on social media.
The 16.5-foot shark was spotted by biologist Ricardo Sagarminaga Van Buiten and biologist Fernando López-peepers, who were on an expedition.
López-peepers recorded the encounter and in a Facebook post he wrote:
The presence of large white sharks in Spanish waters was a constant rumor, as well as historical evidence ratified by photographs and toponymy across the Costa, levantina and Catalan Coast.
For many years, however, it had not been possible to document how this morning was done on board the töftevaag. [sic]
His post claimed that the great white shark was spotted off 8 miles from Cabrera Island, for 70 minutes the 5 metre shark swam through waters ‘close to the national park of Cabrera Archipelago in the Balearic Islands (Spain)’.
Lopez-peepers post continued:
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.
On this occasion, this historic sighting has been photographed, filmed and contemplated by a crew of 10 people from five countries.
While the rare sight is remarkable it does raise a few concerns as great whites are the apex predators of the ocean. They are notable for their size with larger female individuals growing to about 6.1 metres in length.
A study dating back to 2014 found that their lifespan is an estimated 70 years, thus making it one of the longest-lived cartilaginous fish currently known to marine biologists.
In 2008 Professor Stephen Wroe, from the University of New England, Australia, led a team of scientists as they carried out an experiment to determine the great white shark’s bite pressure.
Wroe calculated a great white weighing in at 423kg has an anterior bite force of 2341 Newtons, while its posterior bite measures 4577 Newtons. To put these figures into perspective, modern great whites are believed to grow up to 600 – 1,100 KG when they reach adulthood.
Great white sharks are known to prey upon a range of other marine animals, including fish and seabirds.
As mentioned previously, like fellow Balearic Islands (Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera), Majorca is a choice holiday destination, particularly for tourists from Germany and the United Kingdom.
Since the 1950s, tourism has been Majorca’s main source of revenue for the island. It has provided significant growth to their economy, particularly after a tourist boom in 2001 when tourist footfall increased by the millions.
In 2010 over 6 million visitors came to Majorca. In 2013, it was visited by nearly 9.5 million tourists, and the Balearic Islands as a whole reached 13 million tourists.
Maybe great white sharks have been spotted around the Island, attracted by the all-inclusive buffets wading into waters off the island’s coast…
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