September the 14th, 2023 – Rogoznica fishermen have caught a Great White Shark (carcharodon carcharias) and sold it to a restaurant. Great White Sharks are strictly protected and cannot be caught and sold.
As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, not far from Rogoznica, fishermen caught Great White Shark, killed and sold it. Croatian marine biologist Petar Kružić told those interested in the Facebook group “Zivi svijet Jadranskog mora/The Living World of the Adriatic Sea” not to sell any captured Great White Sharks because coming across this species in Croatian waters is an extremely valuable find.
Kružić stressed that it is necessary to forward any information on Great White Sharks seen or caught to the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries.
The unfortunate shark was sold to a restaurant
The well-known marine biologist told N1 that the Rogoznica fishermen caught a young Great White Shark and then sold it for next to no money. His assessment is that it is a young individual of 1.5 metres. He says the shark was probably caught with a longline, which means it was an accidental catch. However, the Rogoznica fishermen, instead of reporting the incident with the Great White to the competent institution, sold it to a restaurant. Before that, the morbid group took a photo with the shark.
Great Whites do sometimes enter Croatian waters
According to the latest report by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Great White Shark is a strictly protected species and sadly their numbers are continuously declining. Alen Soldo, a full professor at the Department of Marine Studies at the University of Split, told N1 that while this species does pass through Croatian waters, it isn’t a permanent inhabitant.
“It occasionally swims into the Adriatic Sea when hunting for food, mainly tuna. The last attack from a Great White Shark on a human in Croatia was in Vis in 2008 and it wasn’t fatal,” said Professor Soldo. He pointed out that 33 known species of shark live in or make visits to the Adriatic. Some of them are potentially dangerous, namely the Shortfin Mako Shark and the Great White Shark.
“Mako sharks are a species that lives permanently in Croatian waters, it is mostly found out in the open sea and isn’t usually caught by fishermen,” said the professor.
This Great White Shark is a fantastic find
Frane Madiraca, a researcher and doctoral student at the University of Hamburg, said that despite the fact that the Rogoznica fishermen acted incorrectly towards the shark, it’s an excellent find.
“The captured shark was a juvenile specimen. Great Whites do occur in the Adriatic. It’s standard recorded fauna and is an autochthonous species across the Mediterranean. This is a very large animal, they’re known for being curious. If they see humans, they do tend to go up and have a look at them. In principle, these sharks do not attack people for food.
If you spot a Great White in Croatian waters, keep your distance from it and show it the utmost respect. Remain calm and back away from it, do not splash around or panic. If you see this species and it shows interest in you, try to stand vertically in the water because the horizontal position suggests vulnerability to them.”
Madiraca added that Great White Sharks don’t form familial bonds and the chances of the mother of this juvenile specimen being somewhere close by are slim.