The blue sharks in the Mediterranean are on the Critically Endangered list. | R.M.


After a shark spotting recently caused a Minorcan beach to clear the water of all swimmers, social media blew up in a bit of a panic. “Jaws?! In the MED?!” cried the fearful. Actually, if you wanna get technical, Jaws was a (dodgy plastic) great white. This particular fishy was a blue shark, one of the 47 different species thought to inhabit the Med. In fact, you may know it by it’s supermarket name, “tintorera”. Yep that’s blue shark you’re eating… Now poor old Bluey’s been given a bad name, probably because they look, well, like you’d expect a predatory man-eater to look. Long and pointy. Toothy. However, they’re pretty docile in nature and those in the know would confirm they’re misunderstood.

Blue sharks are usually found in cooler, deeper waters, so if they do pop up close to a beach it’s because they’re confused, lost, young, or just simply stressed out. This is why the lifeguards will clear the water, the poor guys need some space so give them as much as you can. I can’t speak for everyone but if I’m lost and stressed the last thing I need is a crowd bothering me. Urgh.

Although usually not aggressive, the blue shark is a curious creature and could approach humans – especially if they’re spearfishing and there’s food in the water. Please rest assured, blue shark attacks are extremely rare with only a handful ever having been recorded worldwide.

If you do spot a blue shark in the Med, you’re actually incredibly lucky. They’re on the Critically Endangered list, and their Med numbers have declined by over 96% in recent years. Sharks are essential for a healthy ecosystem, so should be protected, studied, and respected. Not feared. Because: fish are friends!