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MISSION SHARK

There is still much to discover and write about the Mediterranean Sea and its inhabitants. For example, what has ever been said about sharks? We still know virtually nothing about the 'Italian' shark. When one is sighted in our waters it becomes instantly newsworthy. Yet the images sourced by our national and local media are more than likely filmed in others part of the globe.

Until now our encounter with Mediterranean sharks has been essentially unexpected, a casual acquaintance. No Italian expedition has ever set out to positively look for them before.

Only the large international production companies have undertaken notable expeditions and succeeded in bringing back new research data and film to broaden our knowledge and experience of these animals.

But our Mediterranean also has its monsters of the sea!

"MISSION SHARK" will be the first expedition to identify, film and photograph the sharks near our own shores.

The leader of the exhibition is Alberto Luca RECCHI who has lent his international experience and deep knowledge of the Mediterranean to become the driving force behind this important project.

Armed with a small amount of scientific data from various Italian research Institutes and numerous first hand accounts from fishermen and those who work the sea, Recchi initially created a workable itinerary. Then he proceeded to hand pick a supporting cast of marine biologists as well as a team of people with solid experience both at sea and along the coast.

Lastly, but by no means the least important, Recchi has been able to secure the necessary funding to complete his planning and get the expedition underway.

Squalo Bianco 1. Main Objective

One is always asked, "Are there sharks in the Mediterranean?" and above all, "Does 'white death' really exist?" The answer to both these questions is Yes! The great white shark, the length of 2 mid range cars, does exist. The biggest in the world, a female more than 7 metres long, was in fact caught in the Mediterranean off Malta. For now, however, no one has ever met one in the waters surrounding the Italian peninsular.

The great white is extremely rare. Tracking him or her down will be a key aim of Mission Shark.

Recchi, however, will not only be looking for the great white but to record first hand the presence of every possible type of these restless inhabitants of the sea.

2. Itinerary

Mission Shark will last 3 months and will patrol the Lower Adriatic Sea, The Ionian Sea, the Straits of Messina and the Sicilian Channel. These are the areas where, according to the existing scientific data and word of mouth knowledge, the chance of meeting such fish will be greatest. The search for sharks will last 100 days.

3. Research Technique

The operation will be conducted with a certain elasticity bearing in mind that sharks are loners and no precedence has been set for such an expedition in the Mediterranean.

Tonnes of blood and fish will be used 24 hours a day to attract the predators. Amongst the equipment at the disposal of the expedition will be a remotely controlled underwater camera linked to an on-board monitor and an antishark cage capable of holding 2 men.

4. Support and Freedom of Movement.

To guarantee flexibility for the expedition, Recchi has deliberately turned his back on the constraints and demands which can come from public funding, organisational committees and direct sponsorships. The project is self financed and run. For Recchi the subsequent sale of the documentary film and photographs will cover the costs of the expedition and the risk of the undertaking. This is unusual for an Italian based project, but essential for guaranteeing the nature of the exercise and the commitment of the leading Italian shark experts.


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