Algarve seems to show a great potential for shark ecotourism as an economic alternative to fishing! Thus, WE LIKE SHARKS aims to contribute to sharks conservation in the Algarve, by studying the viability of this kind of tourism (shark watching and shark diving) in this region of southern Portugal.
To investigate this, the Project will carry 18 sea trips. We hope to assess the viability of shark watching and shark diving in the region, together with scientific data such as visibility, temperature and depth, which are collected in order to have a better knowledge of “our sharks” preferences.
5 field trips have taken place until now, in the area of Portimão submarine canyon, at about 12 miles from the coast. In just one of these we failed to spot any sharks.
Water temperature averaged 17.3°C. The visibility was somewhat reduced and it seldom exceeded 10 meters. Depth ranged between 56 to 140 meters. Chumming is usually performed during 4 to 5 hours.
Until now there were 16 shark sightings. All spotted sharks were female blue sharks between 1 and 1.5m lenght. In one occasion we spotted a female with over 2m.
Watch the video here!
We also detected the presence of other species: seabirds (European storm petrel, Wilson’s storm petrel, great shearwater, Balearic shearwater, sooty shearwater and gannets), fish schools (jack mackerel, Atlantic horse mackerel, mackerel, garfish and ocean sunfish) and cetaceans (common dolphins and Minke whales).
The photo above shows a Balearic shearwater - A seabird that can be seen far from the coast, while the team is waiting for the sharks. Although less charismatic than our favourite fish, it also deserves our attention. Also their populations have dramatically declined because of large scale fishing…
In collaboration with the Cape Cruiser company 6 sharks were tagged during the month of July. The tags were kindly offered by the National Marine Fisheries Service of NOAA, USA. We are also working to find new partners and get some more data about shark sightings and tagging in other areas of the Algarve!
Photographic records can be seen at our Flickr
and videos at our Youtube Channel
Stay tuned for the video of our first tagged shark ...coming soon…