Vintage poster depicting injured shark and spear fisherman. This vintage poster was first published to promote Palma De Mallorca, Islas Baleares as the venue for Spain's 1961 Spearfishing Championship.
Controversially, the poster depicts a blue shark [tintorera / tiburón azul] injured by a spear fisherman.
Sixty years on, these beautiful predators are now recognised almost unanimously across their Mediterranean hunting realm as endangered species. They only pose a threat to humans when threatened. That their supremacy in the sub-aqua eco-chain is now in peril is a fact that was underscored on Sunday 25th June 2017 when an eight foot / 1.5 metre blue shark, disorientated subsequent to being harpooned, swam into the crowded shallows of Illetas beach just outside Palma. The poor shark thrashed around in the shallows prompting mass panic, beach evacuations and a media furore. Palma Aquariam staff eventually captured him, determined he could not recover and so put him down. A swimmer had been injured in a blue shark attack off the neighbouring smaller island of Ibiza several months earlier and another sustained hand injuries when a blue shark bit him in Alicante in July 2016.
The incident in Mallorca in June 2017 served as a reminder of the vulnerability of wildlife in the era of mass tourism.