The specimen of Oxynotus Centrina found on the island (Facebook / Isola d’Elba App)
Despite being a vulnerable species, Oxynotus Centrina often ends up accidentally in fishermen’s nets.
The find quickly drew a small crowd, intrigued by what that might be. strange animal that floated, lifeless, in the waters of the Elba island, on Italy. Seeing the particular shape of the body and the ice-colored eyes, more than one passerby thought that it was some kind of sea monster.
Once taken to the dock in the city of Portoferraio everything became clearer: it was a Oxynotus Centrina, a small shark more commonly called “Pig fish”. The discovery took place on August 19, but was made public thanks to images on the Facebook page Isola d ‘Elba App.
The post immediately attracted hundreds of comments, including criticism from users who thought the shark had been caught and killed on purpose.
After being removed from the water, the shark was taken to the Port Office to be studied and finally disposed of.
The nickname “pigfish” is due to the unique sound that resembles a growl, which emits when removed from the water. Completely harmless, the species prefers the depths where it also hunts crustaceans.
The adult Oxynotus Centrina reaches up to one and a half meters in length and lives between 100 and 700 meters deep. (Facebook / Isola d’Elba App)
Old acquaintance of fishermen and divers, this fish usually lives in the waters of the Atlantic eastern and in the Black Sea, although it has also been sighted in the waters of the Mediterranean, much closer to the Tyrrhenian Sea and from the coasts of the island of Elba.
The adult fish reaches up to one and a half meters in length and lives between 100 and 700 meters deep. Another peculiarity is the elongated and highly developed dorsal fin in height, in addition to the skin characterized by light spots and a fat snout.
It is a species classified as “vulnerable” by the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, making its discovery in Portoferraio even more significant.
Despite being listed among vulnerable species, it too often accidentally ends up in the nets of fishing boats. A cruel fate that perhaps also touched this specimen that, this time, had been found in the water already dead.
The singular find is not new to the island of Elba. Another specimen had been captured in those waters in 2018. This time, however, ended up at the fishmonger’s counter.