Basking shark washed up in the Canary Islands

by Lorraine Williamson
Basking shark stock image

ROVINCIA DE LAS PALMAS – A basking shark has been stranded on the island of Los Lobos. The inanimate animal is in an area where it cannot be removed or moved. That means the shark of almost 8 metres is at the mercy of the elements there. 

While the term “basking shark” (Cetorhinus maximus) may instill fear, these are far from aggressive animals. These sharks feed on plankton by filtering the water and are very tolerant of humans. However, overfishing threatens the shark which is the second-largest fish in the world after the whale shark. Furthermore, adults can grow up to 10 metres in length and weigh four tons. 

The island of Lobos is a small island in the archipelago of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean. It is located northeast of the island of Fuerteventura, in the Strait of Bocaina. Furthermore, it is a district of the municipality of La Oliva, in the province of Las Palmas. 

Research on stranded shark 

The regional environment ministry has placed informative posters near the basking shark. The animal had stranded there on Good Friday. Moreover, the authorities request the readers of the text to stay on the Las Lagunitas trail and informe them that experts are examining the fish scientifically. 

Scientists from the ministry have travelled to Las Lagunitas to collect relevant biometric data “with the aim of further improving knowledge of the species and contributing to its conservation.” 

Cooperation between citizens and government 

The Canary Minister of Environmental Sustainability, Lola García, emphasises in Fuerteventura Hoy the importance of cooperation between citizens. Therefore, in the event of sightings of injured fauna, cooperation would allow a rapid response from the local environmental authority. 

Related post: Why are sharks dying off the Spanish coast?

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