The image which sparked all the attention. | R.L.

Scientists from the Shark Med association have concluded that the shark spotted off Cabrera last week was not a white shark but a porbeagle (Lamna nasus, a species of mackerel shark).

Ana Maria Abril, professor of zoology at the University of the Balearic Islands, and Eric Clua, a specialist in sharks at the University of Perpignan, acknowledge that it is difficult to determine the difference between the two, but the porbeagle is longer.

Images taken show distinctive marks, such as a white spot behind the dorsal fin. Its mode of swimming was consistent with having been a porbeagle and not a white shark.

It is a fast swimmer and feeds on fish such as sardines and herrings.

The experts believe that its presence shows that large sharks are returning to Balearic waters.
The population had been almost wiped out.

A video appeared on Tuesday which seemed to show a basking shark off Majorca.

It is understood that porbeagles rarely, if ever, bite swimmers.