Sharks

Sharks are the oldest fish living at the present time, and they have a cartilaginous skeleton. There are about 300 to 400 known species; in Cuba there are about 74 species.

Sharks are of great utility for man in several applications: their skin can be used for sandpaper and as leather for wallets and shoes. The meat of some species is of excellent quality; their liver is a source of different types of oils rich in vitamin A. Their teeth can be used for artwork, medicines for combating cancer can be extracted from the vertebra, the fins are used to make jelly, etc.

So far the biggest white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) ever captured, was caught in Cojimar, Havana, Cuba, in 1945. It measured 6 meters and 40 centimeters.

In case of an encounter with a shark, one must to try and remain calm without losing sight of it, do not keep captured fish near you (during submarine fishing), ascend as soon as possible to the boat or swim towards the beach or coast in a regular way and without splashing.

In general, if you are bitten by a barracuda, moray or shark, or you suffer a large wound by other means, the first thing to do is: control the bleeding on the spot itself, leave the water as soon as possible, disinfect the wound and cover it with sterile cloth, apply painkillers and tranquilizers, and arrange for an urgent transport to a hospital where the necessary treatment can be applied.

Sharks have gained the bad reputation of being terrible and very dangerous, but the truth is that the animal is mostly very curious and it has an unpredictable behavior.

As proof of this, the files of ISAF, at the Museum of Natural History in Florida, USA - the center with the best statistics of shark attacks in the
world - clearly show that only 5 to 15 deaths occur each year due to sharks. This figure is very low, compared to deaths by other causes observed every year all over our beautiful Blue Planet.