By Jo Pugh • 18 August 2023 • 13:14
The shark was huge but harmless. Credit: Irox.cat/Facebook
A fishing vessel from Javea unintentionally encountered a basking shark, measuring between five and eight metres in length and weighing an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 kilogrammes, when it became ensnared within its nets.
The incident unfolded when the skipper and owner of the vessel, named Cap Prim Segon, Juan Bautista Ros, alongside fellow crew members Marc Ros and Vicent Catalá, were working the red shrimp fishing ground, when they accidentally caught an adult basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus).
Usually, when a shark gets entangled in the nets, the fishermen are not able to reel in the net and have to return to the port with the shark in tow, where they try to remove the shark with a crane. The shark usually suffocates and dies before reaching port.
However, the Cap Prim Segon, whose skipper is Batit Ros, has experience in releasing live sharks, albeit smaller ones.
Even so, the crew set out to save the great shark and the stitching of part of the net in order to return it to the sea.
Faced with the challenges of their maritime environment, and undulating waves in the vicinity of their fishing grounds northwest of the Ibiza Channel, the crew members fought to free the shark. It was an arduous task with a lot of risk and effort.
After cutting the net, the shark dropped back into the sea unharmed, although the fisherman slightly regretted losing a €1,500 catch.
The IROX (Institute of Oceanic Research of Javea) also appreciated the involvement and effort of the crew for their humane efforts.
The basking shark is the second-largest living shark and fish, after the whale shark, and one of three plankton-eating shark species, along with the whale shark and megamouth shark. Adults typically reach 7.9 metres in length.
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Jo Pugh is a journalist based in the Costa Blanca North. Originally from London, she has been involved in journalism and photography for 20 years. She has lived in Spain for 12 years, and is a dedicated and passionate writer.
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