The sighting of a blue shark in the waters of Cantolao beach, in La Punta, caught the attention of fishermen and bathers. The fact caused the municipality of said district to ask bathers not to enter the sea.
The presence of the marine animal, about two meters long, was recorded on video by a group of athletes who practiced Paddle. So far no one has been reported injured.
According to the Institute of the Sea of Peru (Imarpe), the specimen, which was unusually close to the coast, probably he was injured, sick, or disoriented.
Trade spoke with marine biologist Adriana Gonzalez Pestana, a specialist in sharks from the ProDelfinus organization and a professor at the Universidad Científica del Sur, about the reasons for the sighting of the blue shark and how people should act in these situations.
– Is it rare that there are sharks in the Peruvian sea?
There is a great lack of knowledge about sharks in Peru. We have more than 60 species of sharks and 33 interact with the fishery. Unfortunately, we do not have a good management plan and that is why the populations [de tiburones] they have come crashing down. So, people are very alarmed when they see a shark now, when about 100 years ago it was probably very common to see sharks on the coast. [del Perú], as is happening today in Galapagos, which is a much healthier ecosystem than ours. So, the first thing we need to understand is that in Peru there are many different species of sharks, and that they are dangerous like any wild animal.
– Of these, which are the ones that usually attack?
The species that attack the most are three: the white shark, the tiger shark and the bull shark. These are the species that report the largest attacks in the world, and these are very rare on our coast, so much so that Peru does not report shark attacks, we do not have a single report. So, Worldwide reports of attacks are very rare. What happens is that we have this idea inspired by Hollywood, which has portrayed them as animals that eat men, that are vengeful, that attack… and the reality is very different. In the species that they saw now it is a blue shark, this is the most captured shark in Peru, mainly for consumption. Many times people do not know that when they consume tollo they are consuming sharks.
“It’s not dangerous, beyond [lo que representa] any wild animal
– What is your way of life?
This species is primarily oceanic, which means that it is very far from the coast, and [se acercó a la playa] for something unusual, maybe he is injured because he was captured or he is disoriented. It has already happened that blue sharks have been stranded weeks ago and it is because the hooks get caught and they die. It is not to alarm us. Furthermore, it is the sharks that are in danger of extinction because the populations of most of the species that are captured are declining due to fishing.
– What measures should the authorities take to manage the situation?
First, let people know that the shark is on the scene, but also say that it is very unlikely that this shark will attack anyone. This species feeds on small animals such as fish, squid… so it is relatively harmless. This means that there is a risk just like with any other wild animal.
– Finally, what should people do?
What people must understand is that the habitat of sharks is the sea, that is their home, and we have to respect that. We are the ones who are invited when we approach the beaches. In places like Australia or certain places in the United States, where major attacks are reported, the local community understands that this is their territory and we have to respect it. We have to respect it especially when there is no indication that it is dangerous for man.