Fishing hook threat to sharks in waters of Spain’s Balearic Islands

PROBLEM: Shark Med found that around half of one species of shark in Balearic waters have fishing hooks or nets attached to them CREDIT: Shark Med y Fundacion Marilles

FISHING hooks and nets are a real threat to sharks swimming in the waters of Spain’s Balearic Islands, according to the Shark Med organisation and the Fundacion Marilles marine conservation foundation.

The entities are studying how sharks inhabiting the waters around the archipelago are fairing after Shark Med discovered that around half of one species have hooks or nets attached to them.

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An agreement between the two will see €30,000 allocated to studying the creatures in their natural habitat over the next year.

The agreement comes after Shark Med spent a couple of years designing an innovative remote underwater video system for observing the sharks. This can be pretty complicated, given there are not so many sharks in the region, plus they are deep-sea creatures generally found a good number of kilometres from the coast.

Shark Med president Agusti Torres explained the main aim of the project is to gather scientific data which he said will provide the necessary tools for raising awareness about the importance of recovering and conserving shark species. Also, to promote what he described as the sustainable development of activities, like fishing, which most impact on sharks and demand “real changes.”

Fundacin Marilles director Aniol Esteban stressed the protection of sharks is a “priority” for the foundation. He underlined the vital role they play in maintaining balance in the food chain and in the good health of marine ecosystems.


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