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Heatwave Sparks Shark Attacks on Fish Farms

KAGOSHIMA, Jul 04 (News On Japan) - The heatwave has not only affected the land but 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 triggered unusual occurrences in the ocean, including shark attacks on aquaculture farms.

In Kagoshima Prefecture, a major hub for amberjack aquaculture, sharks have emerged as 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 severe damage. The sharks, too large for any single 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 near a fishing port in Kagoshima Bay. A local fisherman expressed his shock, noting that while sharks were often seen offshore, they had never caused such extensive damage to fish ready for shipment. Fortunately, there were no human injuries reported.

The investigative team observed shark fins near the scene, confirming the presence of the predators. The occurrence of sharks so close to shore, particularly at this scale, was unprecedented, leaving the local community in disbelief.

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

The increase in sea temperatures has also affected the amberjack directly, as parasites are more likely to attach to their bodies, causing them to rub against the nets and sustain injuries. This has added to the challenges faced by aquaculture operators.

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: ANN

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