Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Shark sighting in Portugal

Congratulations to the algarvedailynews! You managed to cover a shark sighting near shore without sensationalism, with a simple "Mystery shark spotted near Tavira" headline.

In the article you go on to explaine exactly what happened.

As the build up to the swimming season starts with beaches being prepared and concession soon to open, a reminder that 'we are not alone' when bathing was evident in the waters near Tavira.
A shark at least two metres long was spotted by fishermen on the jetty close to the beaches at the entrance of the river Gilão.

Photo Michael Correia - Correio da Manhã

The shark clearly was in distress and was disorientated, swimming around in the shallow waters.
After an hour the shark headed back out to sea with its identity a mystery as, despite being observed by many fishermen, nobody could identify the species.
The Tavira shark was not a Hammerhead, a species which can come close to the shore but normally feeds at least a mile out mainly on sardines, tuna and mackerel and only when the water is warmer at 20 degrees or more.
In 2013 a three metre shark was spotted close in to the shore near the fortress at Sagres, again the species could not be acertained.
Along Portugal’s coast there are dozens of shark species, the majority of which stay offshore and deep down, venturing closer to the surface only when hunting for fish or looking for a mate.
There is an abundance of sharks in Portuguese waters, a sign of a healthy marine environment, but no recorded incident of anyone being attacked as sharks prefer eating fish of which there are plentiful supplies.

Kudos for reporting a shark sighting without sensationalism and resorting to the use of monster, beast or killer. You informed your readers, without scaring them. Your action shows that covering a shark sighting can be done in an informative manner and no scary headlines. I hope that other media outlets will take note. 

Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver 

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