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Heatwave triggers shark attacks on fish farms

KAGOSHIMAJul 4 (News On Japan) – The heat wave has not only affected the country, but has also brought unexpected changes to the sea. On July 3, Tokyo recorded a temperature of 34.8C, the hottest day of the year so far. This intense heat has also caused unusual events in the ocean, including shark attacks on aquaculture farms.

In Kagoshima Prefecture, a major hub for amberjack aquaculture, sharks have become a significant threat. Just as the farmed fish were about to be shipped, giant sharks, some nearly 3 meters long, broke through the nets, causing serious damage. The sharks, too large for one person to handle, were identified as the culprits behind the destruction. Two sharks managed to break through the nets, leading to the escape of all the amberjack. The damage is estimated at around 10 million yen.

The sharks were first spotted at a fishing port in Kagoshima Bay. A local fisherman expressed shock, noting that while sharks were often seen at sea, they had never caused such extensive damage to fish ready for shipping. Fortunately, no human injuries were reported.

The research team saw shark fins near the crime scene, confirming the presence of the predators. The presence of sharks so close to shore, especially on this scale, was unprecedented and left the local community in disbelief.

Experts suggest that recent increases in sea temperatures are drawing sharks closer to shore. The identified species, likely the bronze whaler, is known to live in warm waters and is typically found in tropical and subtropical areas, including areas around Amami, Okinawa and Kyushu.

The rise in sea temperatures has also had a direct impact on the amberjack, as parasites are more likely to attach to their bodies, causing them to rub against nets and become injured, adding to the challenges faced by aquaculture companies.

Despite being a protected species due to its endangered status, the presence of these large sharks poses a significant threat to the local fishing industry. Fishermen are concerned about the future as these incidents demoralize those working in the sector.

Source: ANNE

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