Five-metre great white shark spotted off the coast of Majorca in first official sighting for more than 30 years

The crew watched and photographed the shark for more than an hour. Credit: ALNITAK

A team of scientists have spotted a great white shark off the coast of Majorca.

The five-metre (16.5ft) creature was spotted near Spain’s Balearic Islands and was the first time the predator has been seen in Spanish waters for at least 30 years.

Researchers from Alnitak, a Spanish conservation project, tracked the Great White for more than an hour as it swam across the Cabrera Archipelago National Park, a reserve eight miles off the southern coast of Majorca.

Historically, great whites have lived in these waters, and it is hoped this sighting could be a sign of more to come.

The expedition was led by marine biologist Ricardo Sagarminaga van Buiten who uploaded the historic sighting to social media on Thursday - using its scientific name Carcharodon carcharias.

Mr van Buiten said afterwards: "It was just wonderful to see this amazing creature in these waters. And we all celebrated by having a team swim afterwards!

"They are perceived as man-eating monsters, but the reality is they are on the brink of extinction, partly due to this perception.

"Humans are not their food of choice and the likelihood of being attacked is so incredibly low, it is far less risky than driving."

Alnitak's Facebook page read: "In recent years there were possible unconfirmed sightings and various rumours, but this is the first scientific observation of the presence of the white shark in Spanish waters for at least 30 years."