Genoa – They threw the hook to try to catch some tuna on the way and found themselves thinking of a way to free a young man from the line Mako shark. That’s what happened to Paolo Vassalli and his fisherman friend Simone Ferrante Saturday morning, 2 July, not far from the breakwater of Genoa.
“We were headed east to spend the weekend at sea in Rapallo – says Paolo – in the meantime we wanted to try to pull something up and, while we were about a mile outside the breakwater, the line got taut and we started pulling . As we recovered we began to see the fin and then the nose and color. But until he was very close to the boat we didn’t want to believe it. We couldn’t imagine actually seeing a Mako shark. I took the photos and the video or nobody would have believed it ».
The two friends continued to rewind the line towards the boat with the intention of somehow trying to free it but, luckily, the shark did it all by himself. “We were wondering how to do it having seen the teeth, it must have been” small “, around one meter and twenty, one meter and a half, but it was still a shark, luckily after having stopped resisting, it was almost close to the boat. resumed and with a few tugs he freed himself from the hook ».
The rest of the weekend was spent thinking about the unexpected encounter wondering if it really was a Mako and if it was normal to meet it in the Ligurian Sea. The answer came from the University of Genoa: “In reality this is not a rare “sighting” in the Mediterranean – explains Fulvio Garibaldi, Distav professor – It is a young Mako shark, a protected species in the Mediterranean and from this year, and at least for the next two years, also in the Atlantic. The presence in our seas was decreasing until 2010 recently, however, we have registered several reports, so much so that it is thought that the population is increasing again ».
The result of greater attention from the fishing sector. “The recovery of this endangered species is also due to the use of more selective swordfish fishing gear, which avoids accidental catches as in the past – continues Fulvio Garibaldi – and a greater sense of protection for both professional and recreational fishermen. “.
Sharks are threatened by both non-selective fishing and hunting, even illegal, for their fins: “Even the Mako is a prey, especially in Southeast Asia, of an immoderate hunt due to the growing demand for fins – concludes the teacher – currently, and for several years now, all fishing boats flying the EU flag have to land all species of sharks allowed with head and fins attached just to avoid finning. Unfortunately, in the Indian and Pacific oceans this practice is widespread because the market requires fins for the traditional shark soup ».
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