Bodies of water are already very scary for many people. The reasons for this are clear: we don't see what's inside, our vision is severely limited underwater, we can move more slowly than on land and it's exhausting to stay afloat. In short, it is very evident that we are much better adapted to life on land. Nevertheless, every summer people head to different bodies of water to bathe, swim and cool off. However, one water dweller causes a great deal of panic among a particularly large number of people – the shark. At least since the cult film series “Jaws” was shown in cinemas, there has been fear of the actually peaceful sea creatures all over the world. Fear is further fueled by reports of sharks venturing ever closer to beaches due to climate change and overfishing. However, it is questionable where sharks can be found and whether they live in popular bathing lakes such as Lake Garda.
In which waters are sharks found?
In general, sharks are only found in salt water and therefore only in the seas and oceans. In some parts of the world, however, there are estuaries that flow into the sea, where salt and fresh water meet. This is called brackish water. Some shark species swim up rivers at these crossings to hunt or give birth to their young. However, most shark species cannot stay there very long because they are metabolichave to live in salt water. However, one species of shark stands out from the scheme – the bull shark. In contrast to all other shark species, bull sharks have the ability to live permanently in fresh and salt water. They are typical coastal sharks found on the coasts of Africa, Asia, Australia and North, Central and South America. Many bull sharks swim up the estuaries inland, which is why they are often found in lakes with river access. Some bull sharks have permanently settled in these rivers and lakes, for example in Lake Nicaragua or in the Mississippi.
Are there sharks in Lake Garda?
Lake Garda is a freshwater lake and therefore already ruled out as a habitat for almost all shark species. Additionally, there are no estuaries or sea entrances, from which sharks could swim up into Lake Garda. Floods or hurricanes also prevent sharks from entering Lake Garda, as it is almost 300 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea and relatively high above sea level. In Australia, for example, more than 30 years ago, several sharks were flooded into the lake at a nearby golf course.
The only shark that could potentially be found in Lake Garda would be the bull shark. However, since there is no natural way for it to get there and there are no records of sharks in Lake Garda, their occurrence there is ruled out.
However, this does not mean that there are no sharks in Europe happen. In the Mediterranean Sea alone, and thus off the coasts of Spain, Italy, Greece and even on the North Sea, there are some shark species. However, most of these species live in the open sea and only come near the bathing people for reasons such as lack of food or being attracted by fish and other leftover food.