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Fishermen trap shark near Ishigaki fish port

Date Posted: 2007-01-19

A two-meter shark was trapped near the Tonogusuku Fishing Port in Ishigaki City this week, triggering new fears of the sea creatures affecting tourism.

The great white shark, which lives in the regional tropical or temperate seas, has been a recent phenomena in the southern reaches of Okinawa Prefecture. Four sharks were spotted around the fishing port several years ago, while others have been observed in the Miyako islands as well.

The captured shark, fishermen already killed, weighed 180kg. Fishermen, city officials and tourism representatives worry reports of sharks will deter tourism, which includes the Ishigaki Triathlon held annually near the Tonogusuku Fishing Port. The port sets out nets during the triathlon to block the sharks from entering the harbor.

The great white sharks, together with hohozirozaru and itachizame sharks, are not uncommon in the warm waters of southern Okinawa and further south toward Taiwan. They can grow to three meters in length, and are considered dangerous breeds.

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