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World's Fastest Shark Spotted Lurking Off Spanish Coast

Daisy Phillipson

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World's Fastest Shark Spotted Lurking Off Spanish Coast

The world's fastest shark was spotted lurking off the Spanish coast for the first time in ten years. Check it out:

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Divers observed the great mako shark - which Oceana says can reach top speeds of 45mph and reach lengths of 12 feet - swimming near the shoreline in Barcelona.

By comparison, great white sharks can reach top speeds of 25mph.

According to El Pais, the approximately 8-ft sea creature was recorded in open waters off the Garraf coast in an expedition by the non-profit Cetacean Association last week.

The organisation said in the 10 years it has been operating in the area, it has never seen this particular species of shark.

They added that the animal appeared to be uninjured and was swimming 'calmly'.

Underwater photographer David Jara was on hand to capture the predator on camera, telling the Spanish outlet: "We saw a large black shadow in motion. We were a bit confused.

The great mako shark can reach speeds of 45mph. Credit: Facebook/Associació Cetàcea
The great mako shark can reach speeds of 45mph. Credit: Facebook/Associació Cetàcea

"But suddenly we saw something protruding from the sea. At first we thought it was a sunfish, but soon we noticed a dorsal fin.

"Then we approached, stopped at a safe distance and he also approached the boat. It was impressive."

Once the images had been captured, the divers teamed up with experts to identify the species and decided not to announce the news until it had been confirmed.

"At first, we didn't know what species it was," added Jara. "Maybe we could have been a target and we wanted to be careful."

Marine biologist Claudio Barría confirmed the news, stating: "I have no record of a video made of a shortfin mako from underwater in the Spanish Mediterranean."

He added that the sighting was a 'good sign' for the for the Mediterranean ecosystem, as they are endangered and contribute to maintaining the balance of marine life.

The species can reach top speeds of 45mph. Credit: Alamy
The species can reach top speeds of 45mph. Credit: Alamy

The mako shark has been classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species since 2019.

Oceonographic reports that this is due to them being targeted for their fins to be used in shark fin soup.

Adding to this, the species has a slow growth rate, late maturity and lengthy gestation period, putting them at risk of overfishing.

As well as their incredible speeds, mako sharks are known for their leaping capabilities when hunting.

They feed on a variety of prey including bony fish such as tuna, as well as squids, other sharks, small marine mammals and dead organic matter.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Associació Cetàcea

Topics: Animals, World News

Daisy Phillipson
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