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Monster 3.5-meter Basking Shark Caught Off Cyprus Coast; 'Feeds Off Plankton'

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LATSI, Cyprus -- IT’S 3.5 metres long, 1.4 metres wide and weighs 350 kilograms. These are the measurements of the shark caught in Latsi in the Paphos district yesterday morning.

The Mayor of Polis Chrysochous Angelos Georgiou said that, “the shark is a species which lives in the open sea.”

He expressed his surprise at its discovery: “This has never happened before. These species are not known to approach the coast.

“I don’t know why it ended up near our coasts. We should wait for the conclusions of experts,” he advised.

The shark is to be transported to Limassol, where it will be examined by the Fisheries’ Department.

Sharks are a media favourite when it comes to sensationalism.

A basking shark (‘pampakaris’) was caught by Egyptian fishermen in early February who delivered it to Paphos port.

At the time media reports had said that the shark was considered hazardous by fishermen.

However, the Fisheries Department was quick to disabuse the public of these impressions.

It clarified that the basking shark was an endangered species which is often caught in fishing nets, “but is not considered to be dangerous to humans and feeds off plankton.”

Last August, British tabloids had claimed that a Great White Shark was causing panic and chaos on the beaches of Larnaca, but the Cyprus Tourist Organisation dismissed the claims as spurious and unconfirmed.

source: http://www.cyprus-mail.com/news/

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