An endangered 22ft long basking shark has died after accidentally being caught by fishermen.
According to local media, the Spanish trawler master Jordi Albiol captured the Basking shark in its trawling net when he was fishing 15 miles off the coast of Cap Salou in the autonomous community of Catalonia in north-eastern Spain.
Reports said that Albiol took the animal still alive to the port of the city of Tarragona also in Catalonia but it tragically died after the boat docked in the port, but before it could be freed from their nets.
Biologists from the centre of sea animals recovery (CRAM) at the Sea Science Institute have taken samples from the shark’s dead body.
Reports claim that the institution intends to take the shark back into the open sea to benefit the ocean ecosystem.
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Albiol reportedly told local radio ‘Catalunya Radio’ that he was very sorry for capturing the creature.
According to the Ocena organisation, the basking shark is the second-largest fish in the world and like the largest fish (the whale shark) is a filter feeder that spends most of its time filtering out tiny planktonic prey and small fish.
They can reach lengths of up to 12 metres (40ft) and they are listed as an endangered species on the IUCN's Red List after centuries of fishing.
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