This shark was more than four metres long.

20-08-2013
Local fishermen have captured no fewer than ten large sharks off the Serra de Tramuntana coast near Soller in less than a week. But bathers need not worry that we are in for a Jaws invasion, as these sharks are usually found at a depth of more than 200 metres, are known locally as “sleepers” and are not a danger to people. The sharks, which weigh more than 300 kilos, have been on sale all this week at Palma's fish exchange, where their meat fetched just over one euro a kilo. And it was snapped up in no time. The customers were the owners of Chinese restaurants, bakeries and firms which make fish pies. Although it may come as a surprise to many people, catching sharks is by no means rare, although fishermen say it is not usual to catch so many in a single week. The sharks were caught by trawlers operating 12 miles off the Serra de Tramuntana mountains and at a depth of 600 metres. They were looking for shrimps. Rafael Mas, the skipper of the Illa del Sol, said that the shark caught by his boat was “more than four metres long and was still alive when it was hoisted on board.” It was an experience he will never forget, as the shark tried to bite crew members, none of whom was injured. Mas claims to have caught hundreds of these sharks in his lifetime but never so many in such a short space of time. He said that he had been trawling a few weeks ago at a depth of 400 metres and didn't catch a single shark. Now all the trawlers are working at 600 metres and are catching sharks every day. “On Monday, for example, three were caught,” he said. The shark, Hexanchos griseus, lives near the bottom of the sea bed and feeds on shrimps, squid and other sharks. It is not known to have attacked swimmers as it is very timid and seeks refuge in the depths. Only the younger sharks swim up to the surface but then only at night and only in search of certain foods such as dead whales. But it is not just sharks which inhabit the depths off the coast of Soller, it seems. There have been reports of mysterious noises heard by scuba divers at the beginning of summer. At first it was said that they were caused by an oil refinery in Tarragona, but this was ruled out as the sounds were not heard off Catalonia. And then the old flying saucer theory was revived, according to which there is a flying saucer base on the sea bed just off the Soller coast. The practical fishermen do not believe in any such connection: the sharks go there because there are a lot of shrimps. But still..... sharks, flying saucers... perhaps someone should drop a line to Steven Spielberg.

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