Rare footage of “phantom” sharks, formerly known as porbeagle sharks, swimming off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts shows the apex predators challenging each other in what could be either a duel for a mate or a hunting ground.
The exciting video and images of the encounter were captured by Joe and Lauren Romeiro, a couple who research sharks through non-invasive sampling techniques that were able to get up close and personal with these porbeagle sharks, which primarily reside in deeper, colder waters get .
Two sharks first emerge from the dark waters and circle each other, and then three more join the spectacle in what your team calls a “mother charge” – it’s very rare to see a porbeagle, let alone a group.
The Romeiros have spent countless hours spotting sharks off the coast of New England, but sightings of the porbeagle shark are so rare that they nicknamed it the “phantom shark.”
Rare footage of “phantom” sharks, formerly known as porbeagle sharks, shows a group swimming off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts
The porbeagle shark is named for its “porpoise” shape and “beagle”-like hunting ability. This little-known deep-sea predator is often confused with its close relatives, the great white and mako sharks.
The hairasse is not normally harmful to humans, although it can cause serious injury – but no fatalities have ever been recorded.
And it can grow up to 12 feet long and weigh up to 600 pounds.
“There are very few photographs or footage of free-swimming porbeagle sharks in the world,” Joe said in a statement.
These sharks are rarely seen because they prefer deep, cold water, but a husband and wife couple were able to capture these unique images
The team spent hours in the North Atlantic waiting to spot a porbeagle shark surface before the sun came up
“We were out on our research vessel at night to capture what few have ever seen, hoping for just one porbeagle shark, but then we saw five interacting with each other. It was the mother load.’
This shark is just one of five shark species (there are about 500) capable of heating their bodies, allowing them to dominate North Atlantic waters during winter when others flee south to face the cold escape.
Footage recently captured by the Romeiros shows two porbeagle sharks challenging each other, and three more appear shortly after.
“Were they here to mate, or was this their hunting ground? Whatever the reason, they were all very aware,” Lauren said.
“We want to better understand their movements, behaviors and social interactions.
“This encounter not only helps increase our knowledge of this rare species of shark, but also helps us generate the data needed to better protect against endangerment.”
The video shows the team patiently waiting for the first porbeagle, which they plan to lure with bait attached to long lines.
Then, for what seems like hours, a shark emerges from the dark water and takes the bait.
“Traditionally, sharks have only been studied using methods that involve catching a few individuals. It does not provide a true and complete picture of the behavior of the entire population, such as B. Where they spend their time and why, since the method can change their natural behavior,” Lauren said.
“Our research technique allows us to observe many different animals simultaneously and at different life stages, showing that we do not have to rely on capturing animals to obtain data.”
Just last month, an angler caught a giant porbeagle shark off the coast of southern Britain.
Ray Breton, 53, was fishing alone in his 16ft boat off the Isle of Wight when the giant porbeagle shark – related to the great white – went in search of his mackerel bait.
The team attached bait to a line to attract the sharks. Here one eats the bait
The hairasse is not normally harmful to humans, although it can cause serious injury – but no fatalities have ever been recorded
The angler began reeling in the seven-foot-long “mad” shark, but the catch was so large it took him an hour to get it alongside his boat.
Ray’s pole nearly doubled before finally yielding and snapping in two.
He then pulls in the fishing line with his hands and brings the huge shark to the side of the boat for him to measure.
The 300-pound beast thrashes and rolls in the water as Ray tries to keep it stable alongside the boat.
The two meter long fish was far too big to pull aboard, so Ray unhooked the shark and then released it.