Italian naval officers have reportedly caught a rare fish from the sea and described it as having the face of a pig and the body of a shark. The officers were left baffled by their rare catch, and the pictures of the weird shark-like beast have gone viral on the internet. The fish was caught on August 19 this year and has been identified as an extremely rare Angular rough shark, also sometimes known as a pig-faced shark.
According to the report on NDTV, the fish was spotted floating in the waters at the Darsena Medicea marina in the town of Portoferraio on the Italian island of Elba. The group of sailors who pulled the fish out of the water was ‘creeped out’ at first by its bizarre-looking face.
The fish was taken to the Harbour Office to be studied, and there it was identified as an angular rough shark, which lives up to 700 meters, 2,300 feet below the surface, meaning it rarely ever was spotted by humankind. The fish are also known as pig-face sharks.
Last Friday, the photos of the shark were shared on Facebook. Hundreds of people were surprised by the “odd-looking" fish. Some even criticised the naval officers, assuming that they had caught it on purpose and killed it.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has currently listed it as endangered. Speaking to the local media, Yuri Tiberto of the local Elba Aquarium said, “In Tuscan archipelago, which is so rich in biodiversity is a bit common to find this fish, and I can safely say that many times before I have received reports telling me of ‘pig fish’ ended up fishing nets of local people."
As per the reports, it is known to usually live in the East Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It can easily be recognized by its broad head and fat, blunt snout.