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Great white shark spotted near Mallorca

Jenipher Camino Gonzalez
June 29, 2018

The large fish was spotted by crew members of a marine research expedition. The presence of a great white shark in the Balearic Sea had not been documented for at least 30 years.

View of the coast of Cabreara Island in Spain
Image: picture-alliance/robertharding/M. Simoni

A scientific expedition team from the Spanish Alnitak marine research center caught sight of a great white shark near Spain's Balearic Islands on Thursday.

Alnitak Director Ricardo Sagarminaga said the shark sighting took place some eight miles (12 kilometers) off the coast of the island of Cabrera, south of Mallorca.

"There had been possible sightings in recent years that were not confirmed, but this is the first scientific confirmation of the presence of a white shark in Spanish waters in at least 30 years," Sagarminaga said in a statement on the organization's Facebook page.

All 10 crew members aboard the expedition's ship Toftevaag, who hail from five different countries, saw the great white shark. Filmmaker and biologist Fernando Mirones posted a photo of the sighting, saying that the group would soon publish a video as well.

Local newspaper Diario de Mallorca said it was a "historic sighting," as it represented the first time that proof of a live specimen in the Balearic Sea has been brought forth.

Read more: Learning to live with the great white shark

Alnitak echoed the statement by Diario de Mallorca, saying on Facebook that "the presence of great whites in Spanish waters was a constant rumor," but for many years no evidence like the sighting by the Toftevaag had been presented.

The Alnitak 2018 expedition bumped into the shark as its ship was roaming the coast of Mallorca to carry out various research activities, such as gathering data on marine animals and microplastic pollution at sea.

Face to face with a great white shark

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