Cell phones pointing towards the sea, gestures of astonishment and disbelief. This is what was experienced in the port of Cangas do Morrazo, in the province of Pontevedra, when seeing a specimen of basking shark swimming near the mooring of the local port. The animal, of a species that can be seen from time to time along the Galician coast, was introduced in the port area and was probably looking for a way out of the Atlantic Ocean again.
A bag, a plastic cap and nets in the stomach of a basking shark that died on a beach in Galicia
Civil Protection of Cangas assures elDiario.es that it has not intervened in any operation to return the animal to the open sea. “It approached the port and shortly after returned to the sea,” explains a volunteer who notified the public security service of the events. “If he had stayed longer we would have alerted to take action regarding bathers,” they add from the service.
The shark measures about 2.5 meters, as Civil Protection has been able to calculate, since it has been seen swimming near fishing boats. According to the Coordinator for the Study of Marine Mammals (cemma) is a harmless species for humans, although it is recommended not to interact with it so as not to stress it.
The basking shark feeds by filtering the waters. “They are usually close to the Cíes Islands. It would be following the currents of plankton and would get here, ”they explain from Civil Protection.
Cemma also explains that adult basking sharks measure up to eight meters, so in this case it was a pup. It is the second largest species among fish, after the whale shark. Every year there are between two and three sightings in Galicia, often within the estuaries and more frequently during the spring. “It is more normal to see arroaces (a kind of dolphin present on the Galician coasts) than basking sharks,” they point out from Civil Protection.