Fish attacks off Benidorm are leaving 15 people injured every day: Experts reveal they are targeting certain swimmers with these characteristics
- More than 15 people a day are seeking first aid after being bitten by fish
- There have been several cases on the famous Poniente beach in Benidorm
Holidaymakers in Benidorm have been warned of fish attacks because the Med has become unusually warm.
More than 15 people a day are seeking first aid on Alicante’s beaches after being bitten by fearless obladas, or saddled seabream – small grey fish with a black spot on their tail fin.
They are said to be attracted by moles, warts or small wounds on the skin – especially on older people.
The fish, which can reach about 12in (30cm) in length, are drawing blood and even leaving teeth wounds on their victims’ arms, legs and backs.
In recent days there have been several cases on the famous Poniente beach in Benidorm, according to the Spanish newspaper Informacion.es.
Obladas, or saddled seabream, are being blamed for biting more than 15 people a day on Alicante’s beaches
Poniente beach in Benidorm, where there have been several cases in recent days, according to the Spanish newspaper Informacion.es
Experts say that due to very warm weather the temperature of the sea is much higher than normal and this has raised the metabolism of the fish, increasing their appetite.
The Climatology Laboratory of the University of Alicante says the sea temperature is between 29 and 30 degrees.
The Institute of Coastal Ecology has been aware of this phenomenon for several years as it was reported to the Alicante rescue and first aid service in mid-August 2017.
The oblada melanura, the scientific name of the most aggressive species this summer, is more often seen off the islet of Tabarca, where tourists feed them in the port, five miles off the mainland.
However, this year they are moving much closer to the shoreline.
A spokesman from Spain’s Department of Marine Species said: ‘This is a fish used to being fed. There may be a high population density and they do not run away from people, hence they peck at wounds.’
Swimmers are being advised not to go in the sea with jewellery that shines because this can lead to attacks from species such as pomfrets, golfer fish or bluefish.
Other Spanish resorts have also reported similar attacks in previous years, including those across the Costa Brava and in Catalonia.
Saddled seabream, which are said to be attracted by moles, warts or small wounds on the skin, especially on older people. The fish are drawing blood and even leaving teeth wounds on arms, legs and backs
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