Climate change is also interfering with the migration routes of many species. The case we will now describe is a blatant example: a Greenland shark has been spotted in the waters of the western Caribbean, thousands of kilometers from its freezing natural habitat, near Glover's Reef, a coral atoll in Belize, in the Caribbean Sea.
The Greenland shark has been spotted in the western Caribbean by an international research team led by US scientists from the Predator Ecology and Conservation Lab of the International University of Florida in Miami, and the Belize company Riversdale.
Graduate student Devanshi Kasana said: "At first, I was sure it was something else, like a six-gill shark that is well known for living in the deep waters off coral reefs. I knew it was something unusual and it was also unusual for.
fishermen, who had never seen anything like it in all their years of fishing. This is the first record of a sleeping shark in the Western Caribbean region and further supports the hypothesis that these sharks, better known in polar and subpolar latitudes, are found deep in tropical regions."
Spotted Greenland Shark in the Caribbean, far from its natural habitat
Researchers believe that the shark in question is a Greenland shark or a hybrid between the Arctic shark and the Pacific lemargo.
Incidental and direct fishing represent the main dangers for these animals, with thousands of specimens captured and killed every year. This is a huge problem for fish that live hundreds of years and have a very slow life cycle.
Climate change is also believed to pose a serious danger. The Greenland shark lives in the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean, deep along the coasts of Greenland and Iceland. It can reach 7.3 meters in length for about 1,500 kilograms of weight, it is known to be the longest-lived vertebrate on Earth.
It is believed that the oldest specimen analyzed could have been over 510 years old. The flesh of the Greenland shark is poisonous, due to the presence in it of a toxin, trimethylamine oxide, which, when digested, breaks down into trimethylamine, a substance that causes effects similar to those of a strong intoxication.
Due to this neurotoxin, sled dogs that have fed on the meat of this shark can no longer stand up. However, if it is boiled by changing the water often or if it is dried and fermented for a few months to produce the so-called Kæstur Hákarl, also called simply Hákarl, it can be consumed.