Two sharks appear off Chatan Sunset Beach

Two sharks were spotted swimming in the waters near Sunset Beach in Mihama, Chatan Town, prompting authorities to prohibit swimming at Sunset and Araha beaches until Friday.

The ban was removed at 09:00 Saturday, as there had been no further sightings. However, a lifeguard spotted two sharks again at 13:40 on the same day, and swimming was banned again at both beaches.

The manager at Sunset Beach says that they had not been able distinguish the species o the sharks and could not say whether the spotted sharks were harmful or not, so they decided to ban swimming as a precaution for everybody’s safety. They planned to remove the ban at 09:00 on Sunday after confirming the safety.

According to an eyewitness, the shark had a black fin. Senzo Uchida, an emeritus curator of Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, said that if the shark had a black fin, it would be a blacktip reef shark (carcharhinus melanopterus), which is seldom dangerous to humans. He also added that it was difficult to distinguish the species from a picture taken from the beach, and there was still a possibility that the shark could be a dangerous one like a great white or tiger shark. To determine the species for sure, he would need better pictures of them.


05:40 28 Oct , 2016