One of the largest sharks in the Mediterranean appears in Altea

by admin
bluntnose sixgill shark

It is known that there are many sharks swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. Most people also know that in principle these pose no danger to humans. Yet the animals often frighten as soon as they show themselves close to the coast. This week, a female bluntnose sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseu) with a length of over 4.5 metres was discovered near Altea by a local nautical company.

Thanks to the quick and effective cooperation between the local police, the municipal council, the port of Altea and the environmental department of the Guardia Civil, SEPRONA, the animal was able to be towed to the port for further investigation.

Research by the University of Valencia

A team from the University of Valencia arrived to take measurements and samples of the shark’s skin, parasites and teeth. Moreover, these data are crucial to learn more about this little-known species that usually lives deep in the Mediterranean Sea. A few days earlier, the Maritime Service of the Guardia Civil and SEPRONA found another dead example of the bluntnose sixgill shark on the coast of Alicante. According to the regional newspaper Las Provincias, this will also be included for research.

Also read: Sharks have been seen on these Spanish beaches in recent years

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Characteristics of the bluntnose sixgill shark

The grey shark is the largest shark found in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea. This species can swim to depths of almost 2,000 metres. The scavenger feeds exclusively on dead animals and is the only shark in the Mediterranean with six gill slits. Every observed specimen of this species is of great importance for scientific research.

Importance of reporting and investigation

If you encounter stranded marine mammals or sharks, it is very important to call the emergency number 112. This way a rescue operation can be started. Researchers from the VARACOMVAL project are collecting the data because it is essential to study, understand and protect marine life in the Mediterranean Sea.

Support from the EU

The VARACOMVAL project is an initiative of the Department of Marine Zoology of the Universitat de València. The Fundación Biodiversidad of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenges supports it in the context of the NextGenerationEU Plan for Recovery, Transformation and Resilience.


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