The Mediterranean Sea
The sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea are home to over 700 varieties of fish and almost 10 per cent of the world's marine species. Its coastline is one of the most densely populated in the world and the human pressure on this sea is magnified each summer with the influx of holiday makers. Western civilisation developed around these shores but now human activity is having a profound effect on this endangered sea.
Search for the six gill shark
The six gill shark is one of the largest predatory sharks in the world and one of the least commonly seen. Typically this shark spends its time at 2000 metres during the day and rises up to shallower depths at night to feed. In the Strait of Messina, between Italy and the island of Sicily these prehistoric animals have been witnessed rising to just 40 metres depth.
The reason for these sharks reaching such shallow depths is due to the unique geography found in the Strait of Messina. The tides and currents in this bottleneck cause "upwellings" which draw the shark up from the depths. The solitary six gill is almost identical to sharks that were in existence two hundred million years ago. Its survival today is under threat from the loss and destruction of its habitat and over fishing.
|Importance:||The six gill shark is a rarely seen species which resembles sharks found 200 million years ago.|
|Dive category:||This is a deep night dive in very strong currents that is both technically and physically demanding.|
|Access:||Dive boats can be chartered locally to dive this site. To stand the best possible chance of seeing the six gill it is necessary to dive during the new moon when the tides are strongest. This makes the diving conditions extremely hazardous.|
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.