A shark was spotted swimming in shallow waters of the well-known Nafplio beach Karathonas on Tuesday afternoon. Those who were present were shocked to see a shark on a Greek beach, as such sightings in Greece are rare, particularly so near the shore.
Shark simply looking for fish for lunch
The animal was thought to be a blue shark (scientific name: prionace glauca) which is known to roam the Mediterranean Sea.
When the shark was spotted at Karathonas Beach in Nafplio, it was likely chasing its lunch. The fearsome blue shark came into such shallow waters in pursuit of its prey, which was a school of small fish.
Those who were present during the incident were able to capture footage of the Greek shark, as well as inform the Nafplion Port Authority of the very unusual sighting.
A video shot by an onlooker near the shore is shown below:
This species of shark, which belongs to the family Carcharhinidea, inhabits temperate and tropical oceans. It can be found across the world, and calls all the major oceans of the Earth home except for the Arctic Ocean.
Although blue sharks look fearsome, they usually feed on small fish and squid, and very rarely bite humans. There have only been thirteen shark bite incidents recorded over the past 165 years, proving that blue sharks and humans can coexist quite well.
One of the most notable features of blue sharks is their ability to carry large litters of pups, with female blues often giving birth to over 100 young at one time.
Greek shark species
Although incidents like the one above are rare, there are many shark species which live in the Mediterranean Sea off the Greek coast.
However, those who are scared of sharks — and fans of swimming in Greece’s stunning waters — will be glad to know that most sharks in the Mediterranean Sea are harmless and sightings are quite rare.
Blue sharks are very unlikely to venture so close to the shore; this is especially good news, considering that Greek beaches often have many happy people swimming all at once in shallow waters.
Sightings that do occur are generally by fishermen who take their boats into deeper waters. Fishermen can also occasionally accidentally catch sharks in their nets, as pup sharks and many species of adult sharks can be small enough to get tangled in them.
Those sharks seen in the Aegean sea are usually from species such as dogfish, basking sharks, and thresher sharks. These sharks are all harmless to humans, with the basking shark even considered a huge draw for divers who want to experience such a magnificent creature up close!
Unfortunately, many shark species in Greek waters are threatened or endangered. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 54% of shark species that live in the Mediterranean are at an elevated risk of extinction.
Sharks in Greece are mostly threatened due to overfishing, as well as bycatch. Bycatch is when a fish is discarded after being accidentally caught by a fisherman, which then leads to the fish’s unfortunate, unobserved death.