Sharks enjoy warm Algarve waters

Sightings of hammerhead sharks along the Algarve coast are worrying beachgoers in the region, but experts guarantee that the species is not considered dangerous and normally feeds off sardines, mackerels and tuna.

Most sightings have occurred at 1.8 to 12km away from the Albufeira, Carvoeiro, Portimão and Sagres coastlines. There was one case, however, in which a shark was sighted only 20 metres away from the Sagres fortress.

“It was quite big. It was about three metres long and was swimming nearly 20 metres away from the coast,” José Rodrigues, a fisherman who at the time was fishing with two friends, told Correio da Manhã newspaper.

Dolphin watching companies have also been spotting hammerheads along the Algarve coast.

André Dias, biologist and owner of Ferragudo’s Wildwatch, confirmed that there have been “three to four sightings per day”. He added that temperatures above 20 degrees normally attract hammerhead sharks, and assured beachgoers that they do not swim in waters under 30 metres of depth.

Another dolphin watching company, Black Runner, also reported sightings of the creatures.

“We spotted at least six hammerhead sharks close to Albufeira and two in the area of Carvoeiro and Portimão,” said a worker of the company, adding that tourists “react joyfully when they see the sharks up close”.