MALAGA – There was a big commotion in the popular seaside resort of Fuengirola at the weekend when a whale shark was spotted just off the coast. Although the animal is harmless to humans, great alarm was raised when it was spotted by beachgoers.
Initially, the holidaymakers reported that they had seen a whale shark fin, but further investigation by the Guardia Civil revealed no further indications of a shark swimming in the waters of Malaga.
Whale shark filmed by fishermen
However, fishermen later claimed that they had seen the whale shark swimming a little further ashore. Moreover, they were able to prove this with video footage. Consequently, the beach was then closed for five hours to allow observation of the animal.
The whale shark is an endangered species that is not normally found in the Mediterranean Sea. Normally they are in tropical and temperate oceans of the world. According to Wikipedia, only 1,000 have been recorded worldwide. With its impressive length of sometimes more than twelve metres, this shark species poses no threat to humans. However, swimming in water with one is not wise, because the animal can seriously injure people with its enormous tail.
It is not the first time that a whale shark has been spotted off the Spanish coast. In December last year, one was rescued from tuna fishing nets off the coast of Ceuta.