Endangered sandbar shark rescued from fishing net in Israeli beach

The population of sandbar sharks in the Mediterranean sea went down by a staggering 90% between 2005-2015.

Israeli fishermen release a sandbar shark into the wild (photo credit: GUY LEVIAN/ISRAEL NATURE AND PARKS AUTHORITY)
Israeli fishermen release a sandbar shark into the wild
(photo credit: GUY LEVIAN/ISRAEL NATURE AND PARKS AUTHORITY)

Two sandbar sharks, an endangered species, were rescued and released on Thursday from a fishing net laid out by Israeli fishermen in an Ashdod beach.

The sharks were trapped in a net released in an area of warm water streams, where sharks tend to gather at this time of the year.

Fishermen on the beach alerted the fishing boat that laid the net out of the sharks caught.

One of the sandbar sharks managed to escape the net as attempts were made to release them. Following two hours of attempting to locate the second shark, he was found still alive as the net was slowly raised from the water.

The fishermen brought the shark onboard the boat before releasing him back into the Mediterranean Sea. The shark's release can be seen in the video below.

Israeli fishermen release a sandbar shark into the wild (GUY LEVIAN/ISRAEL NATURE AND PARKS AUTHORITY)

One of the biggest coastal sharks in the world, the sandbar shark stretches up to 2.5 meters and is recognized by his trademark dorsal fin, which is triangular and is placed very high on its body.

Sadly, sandbars are becoming a rare sight on the shores of the Mediterranean.

According to estimates provided by Israel's Nature and Parks Authority, the population of sandbar sharks in the Mediterranean sea went down by a staggering 90% between 2005-2015, and it is expected to drop by 99.99% by 2066.

In the 1980s, the sandbar shark was the most wild-caught shark in the entire Mediterranean Sea.

Sandbars are not considered to be dangerous to people and are one of the safest sharks to swim with. The only instance of a sandbar shark attack reported in recent memory was the attack of a 12-year-old girl in Maryland in 2021, the first "confirmed, nearshore ocean bite" in the state, the state's department of natural resources Megan McGinn-Meals said according to Yahoo! News.