ONE of Alicante’s popular beaches had an unexpected visitor recently.
People strolling along the shore spotted what they thought was a blue shark a few yards away in the shallow water off the Urbanova beach in Alicante.
They were more than surprised to see such a large fish swimming in the area so close to land and the experience was recorded on a number of mobile devices.
However, after watching video of the fish, a local ecology expert Gabriel Soler said: “It’s definitely a swordfish… not a blue shark.”
Both the swordfish and the blue shark are very common in the Mediterranean, and Soler pointed out that despite this, “it’s very strange that they come so close to the shore.”
Among the explanations for the swordfish’s behaviour is that it may have become disorientated when chasing its prey, or having been attracted by some bait used by fishermen often in the area.
Swordfish (known on a Spanish menu as ‘pez espada’ or emperador) is often fished for human consumption and its normal habitat is some way offshore.
The images seen by Gabriel Soler from this latest sighting suggest that this one is an adult of more than one metre in length and ‘totally harmless to humans’.
Last February, a 3.6 metre long shark, weighing around 200 kilos, landed on the Playa Levante in nearby Santa Pola. It was later lifted back into the sea with the help of a crane.