Majorca: Shark approaches fishing boat
Holidaymakers in Majorca are reporting being attacked and bitten by fish in the sea.
In one case, a swimmer said he had been covered in bite wounds, which resulted in considerable bleeding.
Experts have put down the attacks to rising sea temperatures caused by global warming.
Ron Farage, Assistant Curator at Palma Aquarium, said fish become hungrier when the temperature of the water rises.
“There are no studies into this, but the reason behind what’s happening could be that the temperature of the water is higher,” he told the island paper Ultima Hora.
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“And these fish are less scared, in this case of human beings, when they are more hungry, which is a consequence in summer of this increase in the temperature of their natural habitat.”
The marine fauna expert said the fish behind the attacks were the younger members of the Sparidae family.
These are more commonly known as sea breams and porgies, and are kitted out with grinding molar-like teeth.
However, he insisted they posed no real danger to tourists or locals, claiming they were “harmless” and their bites were not poisonous.
“If someone has an injury or a mark, they approach out of curiosity to bite,” he explained.
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“It’s something that grabs their attention, like dry skin.
“But people shouldn’t be scared of them, because they’re not poisonous and they don’t do any real damage.
“They’re not a danger to anyone.”
Most incidents have been recorded in the Migjorn area of the south of Majorca.
After being bitten, beachgoer Montse Terradas told local press last month: “I felt something grazing by me and then discovered I had a wound.
“They were wounds with blood.
“The same thing happened to my sister and we had to receive assistance from a lifeguard who said he had seen about 15 people already that day.”
A new report released on Friday has revealed that sea temperatures continue to climb.
Copernicus, the EU’s weather service, reported that sea surface temperatures had reached an average of 20.96C – beating the previous highest logged in 2016 of 20.95C.
Late last month the Mediterranean reached a record high of 28.4C.
Around the same time the surface ocean temperature around the Florida Keys in Miami soared to an unprecedented 38.43C.
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