First confirmed sighting of a great white shark off Majorca in 40 years

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A handout photo made available by Alnitak Association on 29 June 2018 shows a great white shark swimming near the south coast of Mallorca, Spain. Image copyright EPA
Image caption Scientists with Spanish conservation group Alnitak recorded the shark for over an hour

For the first time in more than 40 years, a great white shark has been recorded swimming off the Spanish Mediterranean island of Majorca.

A wildlife conservation group captured footage of the shark wandering around the Cabrera archipelago.

The last confirmed sighting of such a fish in the Balearic Islands was by a fisherman in 1976.

Great whites can weigh up to two tonnes, grow to lengths of 20ft (6m) and reach speeds of 64km/h (40mph).

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“The presence of great white sharks in Spanish waters has been a constant rumour,” biologist and documentary maker Fernando López-Mirones told Efe news agency.

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“However, we’ve been unable to document their presence for many years.”

Scientists with Spanish conservation group Alnitak recorded the shark for over an hour.

“We watched the shark up close for 70 minutes around three metres from the boat,” Mr López-Mirones told Spanish newspaper El País.

According to a documentary from 2007, 27 great whites were caught by fishermen around the Balearic Islands between 1920 and 1976.

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