Marine life researchers saddened by shark signal … on land in Portugal

Days after a great white shark became the first of its kind known to have made a trans-Atlantic journey, researchers tracking her progress were saddened to find that another shark’s signal was being received from Portugal – on land.
Scientists involved in tagging and tracking the 1.5m female mako shark – named Rizzilient – believe she may have been caught by a commercial fishing boat. The last few ‘pings’ received – signals sent out by the tracker on Rizzilient’s fin – came from a town on the coast, near Vila do Conde.
“There was a boat that came through there about a week or so ago, that apparently dropped off a lot of sharks,” said Chris Fischer, founder of Ocearch.org, the organisation that partners with researchers to tag the sharks.
Days before the news, the Massachusetts Shark Research Program had been celebrating the success of tagging a great white named as Lydia, who made the longest documented journey – covering 30,500km from Florida to a point in the Atlantic, midway between the US and the coast of France.
As the scientists involved pointed out, sharks are often perceived as the vicious killers in our oceans, but they are actually dying in “incredible numbers, at the hands of humans”. Rizzilient’s story is just one of many that are sadly ending in the same way.
Photo: Researchers tagging great white shark ‘Lydia’
Photo by: OCEARCH/Robert Snow