Last Updated on December 27, 2023 by Rikki
Tourists visiting the beaches of Benidorm, Spain have been warned about increased fish bites. Experts attribute this to the unusually high water temperature in the sea, which has led to an increase in fish appetite. Vacationers are now afraid to step into the water at one of the most famous beaches, Poniente, as there have been reports of fish attacks.
Local newspaper Información has stated that at least 15 people have sought medical help in the past few days after being bitten. The main culprit seems to be the oblada melanura, commonly known as the salema porgy, which is attracted to moles, freckles, or small wounds on the skin. The bites can cause bleeding, and the marks of the fish’s teeth remain on the legs, arms, and back.
Increase in Fish Attacks
In recent days, there has been a significant increase in fish attacks on the beaches of Benidorm, Spain. Tourists and locals are being warned about these incidents, as they pose a threat to anyone swimming or spending time in the water. The rise in fish attacks has raised concerns among beachgoers and authorities alike, prompting the need for awareness and preventative measures.
Concerns for Tourists
Tourists who visit the beautiful beaches of Benidorm are now faced with the added risk of fish attacks. This has brought about a sense of unease and fear among those who planned to enjoy the water during their vacation. As a tourist, your safety and well-being should always be a top priority, and it is crucial to stay informed about the potential dangers that exist in the area.
15 People Seek Medical Help
According to local newspaper Información, at least 15 people have sought medical help in recent days after being attacked by fish. These incidents have contributed to the growing concerns among beachgoers and authorities. The need to address this issue and find possible solutions has become more urgent, as the number of victims seeking medical assistance continues to rise.
Fish Species Responsible
Identification of the Culprit
The fish species responsible for these attacks has been identified as Oblada melanura, also known as the salema porgy or the saddled seabream. This species is known for its aggressive behavior towards humans, particularly those who have moles, warts, or small injuries on their skin. This aggressive behavior is especially observed in older individuals, making them more vulnerable to attacks.
Characteristics and Behavior
Oblada melanura is a species of fish that typically resides near the island of Tabarca, located 8 km from the coast of Benidorm. These fish are usually attracted to the area around the island, where tourists often feed them in the port. While these marine creatures are omnivorous and typically feed on small invertebrates such as shrimps, this year they have ventured closer to the coastline, seemingly becoming more curious about the taste of tourists.
Habitat of Oblada melanura
The natural habitat of Oblada melanura is in the waters surrounding Tabarca Island. This species is indigenous to this area and is frequently found in the Mediterranean Sea. However, the recent increase in fish attacks has led to encounters with Oblada melanura along the Benidorm coastline. This change in their behavior has raised concerns and spurred efforts to understand and address the issue.
Effect of Water Temperature
Experts believe that the unusually high water temperature in the sea has contributed to the increase in fish attacks. Warmer water temperatures accelerate the metabolism of fish, increasing their appetite and causing them to seek more food. According to the Climatology Laboratory at the University of Alicante, the water temperature off the coast of Benidorm currently stands at around 29-30°C. This warmer environment may be influencing the behavior of fish species, leading to more frequent encounters with humans.
Metabolism and Appetite of Fish
The metabolism and appetite of fish are closely linked to environmental factors, such as water temperature. As the water temperature rises, fish experience an increase in their metabolic rate, which, in turn, leads to an increase in their appetite. The warming of the water near the Benidorm coastline may be causing fish to become more active and aggressive, resulting in a rise in fish attacks on beachgoers.
Previous Similar Incidents
This is not the first time that beachgoers in Benidorm have experienced fish attacks. The local Rescue Service in Alicante first reported incidents of this nature in the summer of 2017, when fish attacks became a recurring issue. Other Spanish resorts, including those along the Costa Brava and in Catalonia, have also faced similar situations in previous years. These recurring incidents highlight the need for ongoing vigilance and the development of strategies to ensure the safety of tourists and locals.
Problem Since 2017
The problem of fish attacks in Benidorm has been ongoing since 2017. The increase in fish attacks over the years has become a cause for concern among authorities and beachgoers alike. It is crucial to acknowledge and address this issue to prevent further harm to individuals visiting the beaches and to ensure their safety.
Avoid Bright Jewelry
To minimize the risk of fish attacks, it is advisable to avoid wearing bright jewelry while swimming in the waters of Benidorm. Some fish species, such as the salema porgy or the saddled seabream, are attracted to shiny objects and may mistake them for food. By refraining from wearing bright jewelry, you can reduce the chances of being bitten or attacked by fish.
Exercise Caution when Swimming
When swimming in the waters of Benidorm, it is essential to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Fish attacks are more likely to occur in areas where these species are known to inhabit. By being cautious and observant, you can identify potential risks and make informed decisions to ensure your safety.
It is advisable to swim in areas designated for beachgoers and to follow any instructions or warnings provided by lifeguards or beach authorities.
Reports of Fish Bite Victims
Description of Fish Length
According to reports from fish bite victims, the length of the fish responsible for the attacks is approximately 30 cm. This information can be useful in identifying and understanding the behavior of the fish species involved in these incidents.
Visible Bite Marks
Victims of fish attacks have reported visible bite marks on their legs, arms, and backs. The bites can cause bleeding, and the marks left by the fish’s teeth can be seen on the skin. The severity of these bite marks may vary depending on the individual’s reaction and the nature of the attack.
Frequency and Severity of Attacks
The frequency and severity of fish attacks have increased in recent days, with at least 15 people seeking medical help. The attacks have caused concern among beachgoers and have prompted authorities to take necessary precautions and protective measures. It is crucial for individuals to remain vigilant and take necessary steps to prevent fish attacks while enjoying the waters of Benidorm.
The Feeding Habits of Fish
Experts believe that the increase in fish attacks can be attributed to the feeding habits of these marine creatures. Fish species, such as Oblada melanura, have become accustomed to being fed by humans, leading to a dependency on human interaction for food. The high population density in the area may also contribute to the fish’s reluctance to flee from humans. These factors, coupled with the warmer water temperatures, can influence their behavior and make them more likely to approach and potentially attack beachgoers.
Possible Reasons for Not Fleeing
Fish may not flee from humans due to various factors. The feeding habits of certain fish species, as mentioned earlier, can make them less wary of human presence. Additionally, the warm water temperatures and the abundant food sources in the area may minimize their need to seek refuge in deeper or safer waters. These factors combined may contribute to the fish’s lack of fear or willingness to approach humans.
Other Related Concerns
The increase in fish attacks in Benidorm raises concerns about the potential environmental impact. Understanding the behavior and habits of these fish species is essential to assess their influence on the local marine ecosystem. The interactions between humans and fish can have ecological consequences, and it is crucial to strike a balance that ensures the safety of individuals while preserving the natural habitat of these marine creatures.
Climate Change and Fish Behavior
Climate change and its effects on ocean temperatures can have far-reaching consequences on fish behavior. As water temperatures rise, fish species may experience changes in their migratory patterns, feeding habits, and interactions with humans. The rise in fish attacks in Benidorm may be an indication of the broader challenges posed by climate change to marine ecosystems and the need for ongoing research and monitoring.
Similar Incidents in Other Locations
Coastal Resorts on Costa Brava
Similar incidents of fish attacks have been reported in other coastal resorts along the Costa Brava in Spain. These incidents highlight the broader issue of increased fish aggression towards humans in specific geographical areas. The findings and experiences from these locations can provide valuable insight into understanding and addressing the problem in Benidorm.
Fish Attacks in Catalonia
Catalonia, another region in Spain, has also experienced fish attacks in previous years. The recurring nature of these incidents demonstrates the need for proactive measures and ongoing awareness campaigns to ensure the safety of beachgoers. Sharing knowledge and lessons learned from these incidents can contribute to a comprehensive approach to addressing the issue in Benidorm.
It is essential to prioritize your safety and take preemptive measures to minimize the risk of fish attacks while enjoying the beaches of Benidorm. Avoid wearing bright jewelry that may attract fish, exercise caution when swimming, and heed any warnings or instructions from lifeguards or beach authorities. By adopting these safety precautions, you can enjoy your time in the water while minimizing the potential risks.
Monitoring of Fish Activity
Authorities and experts continue to monitor fish activity and behavior in the waters of Benidorm. Ongoing research and observations provide valuable insights into understanding the causes and patterns of fish attacks. This information informs the development of strategies and measures to ensure the safety of beachgoers and mitigate potential risks. Regular monitoring of fish activity will contribute to maintaining the safety and well-being of individuals visiting the beaches of Benidorm.