At least 21
species of sharks have been recorded in British coastal waters. In
addition at least 12 species of Skates and Rays, one species of Stingray
and 2 species of Electric Rays also live in the shallow seas surrounding
Britain. Other species occur in deeper water.
commonest inshore shark species of the N E Atlantic is the Lesser Spotted
canicula, which rarely grows much longer than 1 metre in length.
The egg case of this small shark is known as a Mermaid's
No fatal shark attacks have
been recorded in British coastal waters. There has been one unsuccessful
attack on a SCUBA diver.
pm (arrive from 5:00 pm) - 7:30 pm
Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London
admission for the talks
in advance only for the dinner
Society of London Scientific Meetings
Elasmobranch Association, Shark Trust,
Marine Aquarium, Rope Walk, Coxside, Plymouth PL4 OLF, UK.
Trust Annual Conference 2002
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Thresher Shark land at Plymouth
deep water Greenland Shark,
was found freshly dead stranded at Embleton
Bay in Northumberland. The three metres long female shark was recovered
by staff of Newcastle University
and held frozen at their Dove
Marine Laboratory at Cullercoats. The Cetacean
Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) retrieved the shark whilst
carrying out demonstration necropsies for undergraduates at Newcastle University
and transported it to the Natural
History Museum in London, who have (Autumn
2014) completed preparing the shark as a specimen
for the national collection. This
large species of shark (> 7 metres & 1,400 kg) is usually found at
depths of 1000 metres in the Arctic and boreal Atlantic and is both rarely
recorded around the British Isles and relatively little is known of it
biology and bionomics.
two metres long Shortfin Mako Shark,
oxyrinchus, was washed ashore dead on
the vast sandy shore at Barmouth,
Bay, west Wales.
large streamlined Shortfin
was hooked by Andy Griffith
30 miles off Milford
Haven, SW Wales. This dangerous shark leapt three metres into the air
off the stern of the boat before Andy
with the help of his crew mates managed to land the two metres long shark
after a fight lasting 40 minutes. Great care was taken to ensure the safety
of angler and crew as large specimens of this shark have been identified
in fatal attacks on humans. The 90 kg shark
was landed and then released. This is the
first record off the Welsh coast.
this fish is very similar to the more often encountered Porbeagle
nasus. The ID is usually confirmed
by the teeth.)
(6 witnesses) from Cornwall report a large predatory shark off Padstow,
Cornwall, with a length reported of 3.6 metres (11 ft). If allowances
are made for exaggeration, it could be a Porbeagle Shark, Lamna
nasus, that attains a length of 3 metres, or a Shortfin Mako,
oxyrinchus, which could reach a length of nearly 4 metres. The Mako
is a dangerous shark although attacks on humans are rare, virtually non-existent.
Occurrences of the warm water Mako in British seas are usually recorded
in August and are rare, although they are occasionally caught in commercial
it be a Great White Shark?
report appeared in the Sun newspaper when it was identified as the Great
Carcharodon carcharias, which is unknown
from British seas. This identification has not been ruled out. If
it is a Great White its occurrence in area where large numbers of larger
Basking Sharks have been seen may not be a coincidence. Great Whites could
prey on them. AH.
The temperature of the sea
off Cornwall is estimated to be about 18° C in August. Great Whites
occur regularly in the Mediterranean Sea where the winter sea temperatures
are likely to fall to 13° C (Naples) so that the usual reason of temperature
intolerance is not the most likely reason for its absence around the British
Isles in summer. My guess would be the availability of prey on a
regular basis whilst the sea temperature is warm enough is the reason for
its absence. If it is a Great White its occurrence could be associated
with the huge numbers of Basking Sharks in the
last 2 years. The same reasons could apply for the appearance of Mako Sharks.
The Cornish sea temperatures
will only exceed 13° C from June until October. Warm water fish and
sharks will have to return south to deeper seas or die.
The newspapers have shown
pictures of Basking Sharks, which are known to be prevalent this year.
Williams (National Aquarium, Plymouth)
went up to Padstow on to the boat and spoke to some of the observers -
he considers the shark was 11 foot plus, so it was either a very large
Porbeagle (possibly a Mako ?) or a Great White Shark. He thinks it is a
50/50 chance. Cornwall has enough Grey Seals to provide a dinner
table for all the Great White Sharks in the East Atlantic. We were sent
film of a Great White Sharks seen off Minehead by Westcountry TV.
It was lovely footage of a Basking Shark.
provided by Doug Herdson.
penultimate paragraph compiled by Doug Herdson
also agree with Doug: seals & since whites are occasionally found in
Biscay, its not beyond the realms of possibility. But having looked into
similar reports in the past, I'm sceptical until real proof is found."
interviewed four of the crew who saw the 'Great White Shark'. Their
identification is based only on size, colour, and estimated weight.
None of the crucial distinguishing features were described and they did
not express a knowledge of what to look for - most notably the white free
rear tip on the first dorsal fin. I had a good look at the boat,
a 28 footer, against which they judged size. The shark appeared 40
ft off and passed just 5 ft from the boat in a single glide at the surface.
It was seen for about 45 seconds total. I believe that it is quite
possible that the shark was a very large Porbeagle. The FAO species
catalogue 1984 puts a possible maximum length for Porgies at 370 cm / 12
ft. The crew fish for Porbeagles regularly but have not previously
caught any close to this record size. I believe that an error of 3 ft could
have been made in judging length, and that all the other features they
described to me equally describe a Porbeagle. Off course we will
never know, but I think it is probable that there is a monster Porbeagle
off Padstow because there is no doubt that they saw a colossal shark.
Since they regularly target this species with gear that can land such a
shark, we may yet see this fellow again...?!
Weights (British seas):
Mako Isurus oxyrinchus
-00-00 Eddystone, Devon
J M Yallop 1971
Metric 227 kg
Shore 40-00-00 Vacant Qualifying weight
Porbeagle Lamna nasus
Boat 507 lb -00-00 Dunnet Head, Scotland
C Bennett 1993
Metric 230 kg (World Record)
Shore 40-00-00 Vacant Qualifying weight
White Shark Links
A three metres* long Mako
Shark, Isurus oxyrinchus, (the consensus
now seems that it is a Porbeagle) was caught three miles
off Brighton by cod fishermen and brought into Monteum Fish Market at nearby
The shark weighed 172 kg (378
lb). The largest shark normally caught
in Sussex seas is the Tope,
galeus, and then only occasionally. Rarely Porbeagle Sharks,
nasus, have even been caught, but this is my first report of a Mako.
in the Shoreham Herald.
One report said 2.2 metres, excluding the tail fin?]
to Shoreham Herald
On further examination the shark looks like a Porbeagle. AH
consensus now seems that it is a Porbeagle.
Herdson, Marcus Goodsir, Andy Horton. 16/2/99.
have now seen the colour photograph and this clearly indicates a Porbeagle.
Porbeagles landed at the fish market in Plymouth from September 1998 to
February 1999, the largest being a female of 243 cm (115 kg). Doug
landed in Guernsey on 10 March 1999. Sarah
Fowler, Shark Trust.
local fishermen know that large sharks live off the north-east of England,
especially around Coquet
Island, near Amble off the Northumberland coast. They are caught every
year, but in 1998, more sharks and larger specimens were caught. Both the
Lamna nasus, and the Shortfin Mako Shark, Isurus
oxyrinchus, were reported. Unfortunately these two sharks are often
confused. On 13/14 August two Shortfin Mako Sharks (one about 5 metres
long and the other larger) were caught in salmon nets about 3 miles south-east
of Whitby, North Yorkshire. One of the sharks had 3 Lampreys Petromyzon
marinus embedded in it. We have also received a September report of
two Porbeagle Sharks estimated to weigh 190 kg (420 lb) and another
larger one with an estimated weight of 363 kg (800
lb), as well
as large sharks off the Tyne and one landed at Hartlepool. We have not
been able to check the precise dates of these records, although the Mako
reports came from the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, Rare Fish Records,
kept by Doug
Great White Mako
Lamna nasus, is discovered
dead on the sand of Filey
exceptionally large Porbeagle
Lamna nasus, was caught
on road and line by Wayne Comben and Graeme
Pullen and released 300 metres off Boscastle,
north Cornwall. It was measured at about 10 ft (3 metres) long with a girth
of about 2 ft (60 cm) which experts think was likely to be a pregnant female
with an estimated weight of 550 lb (250 kg) and this would have
exceeded the previously largest shark caught by an angler in British seas
beating the previous 1993
world angling record for the species of
230 kg. The shark towed the small boat for a mile before it was hauled
alongside. Even if it was possible to land the fish on to the boat, the
Porbeagle is now a protected species under European
Union (European Commission
on Fisheries) legislation.
Protection Vote 2010
European Union (European
Commission on Fisheries) officially extended measures to protect
threatened Porbeagle Sharks, Lamna
nasus, from fishing. Under the amended Regulation, fishing for
porbeagles is now prohibited in all EU waters, including the Mediterranean
Sea, and by EU vessels fishing in international waters. In addition, if
porbeagles are caught accidentally, they must now be released immediately.
Porbeagle Shark, Lamna
nasus, with a reported weight of nearly 300
kg) was caught by Don McCloskey
on rod and line off Fanad
Head, Donegal, Northern Ireland. (No measurements
of the shark were included in the report.)
discovered a 1.93 metres (6 ft 4 in) long fresh shark washed up dead on
the beach between Hornsea
and Mappleton on the Yorkshire North East coast.
by Rae Atkins
shark appears to be a Porbeagle Shark,
nasus. There is a population of this large predatory shark in the North
Sea. Their occurrence may match the Salmon
on which they prey. Specimens washed up dead on the beach are unusual.
Sharks have been spotted cruising by the south west Casquets bank north
of Guernsey, Channel Islands, leisurely robbing long-lines set for Bass
by biting the fish in half, with gapes of about 12 cm in the prey.
female Porbeagle was landed at St. Peter Port harbour this afternoon (16/11/99
at 1300) by Richard Seager who was gill netting for Bass and Red Mullet
near Hanois lighthouse on the south-west tip of Guernsey. The female
was caught in the same location as a male Porbeagle caught a couple of
weeks ago. The total length was 219 cm.
gill net fisherman accidentally caught a juvenile porbeagle off Guernsey's
West Coast on Wednesday, October 27. The female porbeagle died in
the net, which was in the sea for two days. The net couldn't be recovered
earlier because of bad weather. The porbeagle had a total weight
of 15 kg (33 lb.) weighed on scale. The fisherman estimated its
length (on the telephone to me) at 120 cm. He caught it in
25 metres of water near rocks called Les Grunes de Nord-Ouest (about 49°
30' N and 2° 38' W) The fisherman reported that the shark's stomach
was empty but it was going for a netted Pollack (Pollachius pollachius).
I understand the shark made a bit of a mess of the net.
fishermen also recounted an interesting story to me that occurred in May
of this year. He said he was fishing about 2 miles off Guernsey's
west coast in about 35 to 40 metres of water. His boat was surrounded
by seagulls. One of them was sitting on the water. He saw a shark
rise just over a metre (3 or 4 feet) out of the water and take the seagull
in his mouth. He then gently swam away. He thinks the shark was a
Porbeagle but he cannot be sure.
103 kg (total weight) female Porbeagle
Shark was landed at St. Peter Port Harbour, Guernsey.
was caught in a monofilament gill net off the south-west Coast of Guernsey
in about 60 feet of water. The gill net was set for Sea Bass,
labrax. The net was about 300 yards long and 30 feet deep.
Porbeagle was wrapped in the net and dead when brought aboard.
to tip of lower caudal lobe was 207.5 cm
length was 192 cm.
to origin of first dorsal fin was 72.5 cm
of D1 to origin of D2 was 85 cm
depth at origin of D1 was about 44 cm.
weight was 87.7 kg. (heart removed too)
weighed 9.90 kg.
weighed 0.35 kg.
(no embryos) weighed 0.55 kg.
and spiral value weighed 2.85 kg.
of blood in the coelom)
stomach contained one squid beak probably belonging to Loligo forbesi.
by Richard Lord (Guernsey).
Shark (from Newlyn, May 1999)
Shark (Guernsey 1999)
Trust Conference Report
Cornish long-line fishermen has caught a total 115
nasus, on two long-line fishery trips to
their feeding grounds off Cornwall. The largest one weighed 60 kg (132
lb), but is unclear if this was the weight before on after it was gutted.
It was two metres long, probably including the tail fin. These look like
a pre breeding stock of Porbeagles with females that do not attain maturity
until they are two metres in length. This mass capture has raised the ire
of environmentalists as the large species of sharks and even some of smaller
species like the Angel Shark, Squatina
squatina, are vulnerable to excessive
fishing. In the 1960s the Newfoundland fishery for Porbeagle was seriously
overfished as ceased as a commercial activity. Hundreds of Porbeagle Sharks
are caught off northern France each year.
two metre long Blue Shark, Prionace
glauca, was washed up alive on to
the beach at West
Bay, Dorset, and hauled back into the water by Jeannette
Longley, but it was found dead on the shore
at Burton Bradstock
glauca, was washed up on Camber
Sands, East Sussex. This species is rarely
this far east up the English Channel.
pregnant female Blue Shark, Prionace
glauca, was washed up on at Barvas
on the west side of the Isle
of Lewis, Outer
Hebrides, Western Isles, Scotland.
Shark, Prionace glauca,
a surprise appearance in St.
sleek lines of 4 Blue Sharks, Prionace
glauca, were seen 7 miles off the Bishop's
Rock, off the westernmost tip of Cornwall. Fish is thrown overboard to
Wilson's Petrels and other sea birds and the sharks arrive.
Blue Shark, Prionace glauca, was washed
up on Gibraltar Point beach, near Skegness, Lincolnshire in November
1998. It was just over 2 metres long and was damaged by what looked
like another shark bite. Although usually regarded as a southern shark,
specimens have been reported before from off the north-east coast of England.
including a specimen in shallow water earlier in the year.
by Andy Colls (Chesterfield)
Shark was also washed up on the Dutch coast about the same time.
Report by Erick Staal
of the most extraordinary shark tales involved the discovery of a tropical
longimanus, that had badly lost its way and was discovered swimming
around a warship in a brackish water fjord near Gullmarsfjorden in west
Sweden. It died shortly afterwards. The shark, a male, was 230 cm long,
(total length), and weighed 65.65 kg. This is the first record in northern
European seas and it has never been discovered around the British coast.
A Swedish Museum in Gothenburg has now the shark for further examination.
White-tip Shark is found worldwide in epipelagic
tropical and subtropical waters between 20° North and 20° South
latitude. Its range is from Portugal to the Gulf of Guinea in the eastern
Atlantic. There are a few records from the Mediterranean Sea. It lives
in sea temperatures above 21° C. It is usually found over deep water
a long way from the shore. It is known to associate with Pilot
Whales and may follow boats or ships if a
constant food source is available. This shark has a reputation for attacking
could the shark have arrived in the fjord? The speculation could involves
man's activities as a discard from a deep water fishing catch?
report was received of a tropical Smalltooth
Sandtiger Shark, Odontaspis
ferox*, washed up on the southern
coast the English Channel (la Manche) and found alive on the sandy shore
on the Cherbourg
Peninsula (west coast). (So extraordinary
was this report that I did not include it until the identity of the fish
could be verified.) The 2.5 metre long shark,
weighing in excess of 200 kg was pushed back into the sea and was not recovered
ID only, not verified.)
Sandtiger Sharks have been caught at widely
scattered locations throughout the world, indicating a possibly circumtropical
distribution. In the eastern Atlantic Ocean, it is known from the Bay of
Biscay south to Morocco, including the Mediterranean Sea, the Azores, and
the Canary Islands.
on the Marine Wildlife of the NE Yahoo Group
small Angel Shark, Squatina
was a rare capture off Douglas,
Isle of Man.
by Grant Lopes
large stocky angel shark was formerly a common and important demersal predator
over large areas of its coastal and outer continental shelf sediment habitat
in the North-east Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Seas. It now appears
to be absent from the English Channel where it was caught back in 1969.
shark is classified as "Critically Endangered".
now extremely rare Angel Shark (or
squatina, was accidentally caught
in the Bristol Channel. It weighed 16.7 kg and its length was 123 cm including
the long tail. The shark was collected by the Natural
History Museum for research purposes.
the Angel Shark
received full legal protection from human activities in the waters off
England and Wales from the coast to a distance of 11 km (6.8 miles), under
the UK Wildlife and Countryside
Act. The United Kingdom and Belgium have pushed, unsuccessfully, for
this species to be listed on the Convention for the Protection of the Marine
Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) Priority List of Threatened
and Endangered Species.
caught by angler Tojo
from a boat out of Holyhead,
The unusual white shark was returned to the sea.
Tom's Guide to New England Sharks, USA
Shark News Item 1998, Cetorhinus maximus. .
Shark Reports, 1998,
The largest Basking Shark
recorded in British seas was washed up on Brighton beach, Sussex, in 1806.
The weight was estimated at 8 tonnes, if the record is to be believed.
to include the Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus) on Appendix II
of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
Large Predatory Shark
A large shark of over 5
metres long (16 ft) long was seen in Sandsound Voe on the western coast
of the Shetland Isles attacking seals, which are attracted by the salmon
in the cages. The shark was estimated to weigh 500 kg. The species was
not identified. Species of shark in British seas that reach this size include
the Greenland Shark, Somniosus
microcephalus, which will attain lengths of over 6 metres and is
known to attack seals on occasions. This shark is a northern species which
is not often recorded off the coast of Scotland. Both Philip Vas and Len
Nevell have suggested it could be a Six-gilled
Shark, Hexanchus griseus.
Shark Page 2
A Tope with an estimated
weight in excess of 42 kg (93 lb) was caught by Margaret Tuckwell
whilst fishing off Selsey Bill, Sussex, at a mark known as the Mixon Hole,
which is popular with divers. This weight would have been a world record
if the shark had been landed alive and weighed, but this specimen was returned
to the sea, The current rod and line record of Galeorhinus galeus,
is 37.4 kg (82 lb 8 oz) for a Tope caught off Bradwell-on-Sea,
Essex, (southern North Sea) in 1991, with another large fish caught in
the same area in 1986. Tope are not very common in the English Channel
and most angled specimens are caught in the summer months. The sharks migrate
in from more southerly seas. The Tope caught at Selsey was 198 cm long
and 78 cm in girth.
weight has since be revised to an estimate of 35 kg.
October 1994 angler Fred Oakley at Santa Monica
California took a
8 oz (44.67 kg) Tope, Galeorhinus galeus. Source is
IGFA World record
Tom's shark webpage
from Sussex, 1982
large Tope, Galeorhinus galeus,
between 38 and 40 kg (85 to 90
lb), was tagged and released off
the Isles of Mull, Scotland, not knowing that it was a new record weight
for the species.
weight may be overestimated. A figure of 25 kg (55 lb) seems about
Nevell, Sea Angling Report)
Tope of 50 lb was caught off Minehead, Somerset, by Richard Hoddinott.
Nevell, Sea Angling Report)
Biological Notes by Len Nevell
are on display in the large tank at Brighton Sea Life Centre.
& Ray Conference Report 1996 (BMLSS Scotland)
Conference Report 1998
& Tope Tagging in Scotland
* In 2009,
research showed what was formerly listed as a single species, Dipturus
batis, should be instead classified as two separate species, Dipturus
flossada, and the Flapper Skate, Dipturus
2779 gram (2.779 kg.) female Eagle Ray,
aquila, was caught by trawl in 15 metres of water at about 2000
hours on Schole bank, off Guernsey, Channel Islands, English Channel.
The bank is composed of broken shell and sand.
Eagle Ray was caught with blonde rays, brill and a few lesser spotted dogfish.
Eagle Ray had a wing span of 585 mm and a total length of 956 mm. The body
length (tip of snout to origin of tail) was 330 mm.
stomach and spiral valve contained two small squat lobsters, one hermit
crab, and pieces of scallop shell. The liver weighed 150 grams and
the ray weighed 2384 grams gutted.
by Richard Lord (Guernsey)
A Blonde Ray, Raja
brachyura, with the edible wings weighing in excess of 19 kg was captured
in a trawl off Prawle Point, Devon. This was a very large specimen. The
weight of the whole ray was estimated at 23 kg.
A Blonde Ray of 14 kg (30lb)
caught off East Ferry, Cork, Eire, by Norman
Nevell, Sea Angling Report)
a record on file of a specimen of a Blonde Ray weighed in at 16.6
kg (36 lb 8 oz) caught on rod and
line from from Cork Harbour in September 1964.
Ray Report 2002
Ray,Torpedo nobiliana, was caught, whilst
fishing for Nephrops (Scampi), 8 miles north of Lossiemouth, Moray
Firth, NW Scotland, by the Banff registered vessel "Charisma". The ray
immediately made one of the crew aware of it by giving him an electric
shock. It has found a temporary home in the MacDuff
Public Aquarium but it is not on public display because of the danger
to the public in their open ray tank. It will be returned to sea. This
species is the commoner of the two species of Electric Ray found around
Britain (the other one is the Marbled Electric Ray, Torpedo marmorata)
and both are generally southern species and are much rarer further north.
This species is one that divers should be warned not to touch, if they
spot a ray swimming in mid-water. Most records from British seas are in
the summer and autumn.
by Witek Mojsiewicz (Aberdeen)
small Electric Ray, Torpedo nobiliana,
was caught by fisherman John Gillam off Brighton, Sussex. These fish are
occasionally caught off the Sussex coast each year. What was unusual about
this fish was that it was captured alive and put on display at Brighton
Sea Life Centre.
Electric Ray, Torpedo nobiliana,
was caught with some difficulty, because the powerful electric shocks transmitted
up the line, by angler Steve Alnutt off Shoreham Beach, Sussex. It weighed
8 kg (18 lb) and was returned alive.
Ray = reohha, ruhha. The commercial fisheries name is Roker, and
this is an alternative common name for the the Thornback Ray, Raja
Sharks & Rays
Crane received a shock when he landed a 4.95
kg (10 lb 14 oz 11 dram) female Marbled
Electric Ray, Torpedo
Seager’s ‘Out of Blue‘,
while fishing about three miles to the east of Sark, Channel Islands.
The electric ray had a total length of 58.6 cm and a disc width of 41.5
cm. The electric ray took a whole Black
presented as bait. This specimen represents the largest Marbled
Electric Ray caught by an angler in British
Angling Records Links page
Sharks & Ray News
rare female Marbled Electric Ray, Torpedo
captured in a trawl net by Worthing fisherman Brian
Davey about eight miles off Shoreham-by-Sea,
Sussex. The ray which was about 60 cm long and can deliver a 220 volt electric
shock. It was kept alive found a home at Brighton
Sea Life Centre.
Herald News Report
is the rarer of the two electric rays recorded in British seas and is extremely
rare off Sussex. This fish can grow up to 60 cm in length. It is not known
to breed in British seas and fish are likely to have migrated up the English
Channel in summer.
Marine Life Reports 2008
News Reports Spring 2008
Electric Ray, Torpedo
increasingly common around Guernsey. Commercial fishermen are catching
them almost every week. The fishermen who caught the Eagle Ray told
me he caught an electric ray yesterday but he wasn't certain which species
it was (T. nobiliana or T. marmorata). Torpedo marmorata
has been seen in breeding aggregations to the south of the Island of Sark
in the Autumn.
marmorata appears to be much more common than T. nobiliana around
Bailiwick of Guernsey. The inshore gill netters catch them during
the winter and
seem to get them on the banks during the summer months.
by Richard Lord (Guernsey) May 1999
Electric Ray (Sussex)
recreational angler caught a 26.76 kg (59 lb exactly) female
pastinaca, in shallow water near Vermerette
off the west coast of the island of Herm,
Channel Islands, (about 400 metres from Herm harbour) from a boat. The
ray had a total length of 124 cm and a disc width of 76 cm.
stomach of the fish contained about 20 well digested Sandeels
and some small shrimps
(it is a bottom feeder.) The liver weighed 4859 grams (10.7 lb).
ray would have broken the British record of the fish had been caught from
Angling Records Links page
interviewed a shore angler who had caught a 22 kg (46.5 lb) female
Dasyatis pastinaca on the N.E England coast. While it was not
measured properly, the angler estimated its DW at 1 metre (3 ft) and snout
to tail stump also 1 metre. He was very interested to find out an age for
the animal - does anyone have any ideas? The Stingray was caught
in July or August 1998 which seems to be months in which they are most
likely to be caught, when the sea is at its warmest.
have been raised to adults in captivity by the Sea Life Centres in Britain
and the adults have produced their own young.
Stingray of 35 lb was caught off Poole, Dorset by Mark
Nevell, Sea Angling Report)
to an Image of a Thresher Shark from Cardigan Bay, Wales
living memory the Thresher Shark,
vulpinus, was if not a regular sighting
off the Sussex coast,
it would be remarkable because of its exceptionally long caudal fin. Now,
a Thresher Shark
is a newsworthy event caught by a boat angler out of the notable shark
fishing centre of Looe,
south Cornwall. The
shark was landed and released.
species of Thresher Shark
have been declared to be "vulnerable", according to the International
Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red
List of threatened species.
seen feeding at the surface off Portland,
Dorset, exceptionally early in the year.
by Paul Martin
five metre long Thresher Shark, Alopias
landed at Newlyn
Fish Market and was caught by skipper of The
Nowell whilst trawling for squid and John
Dory off Land's End. It weighed weighed
510 kg (1,125 lb) and was the heaviest
on record landed at Newlyn. Comparatively,
the angling record
fish weighed 146 kg. Commercial fishermen have landed Thresher
Sharks up to 400 kg before.
professional anglers witnessed a Thresher
Alopias, leap completely
out of the water, tail and all, four consecutive times to the west of Alderney,
Channel Islands, Great Britain at about
pm. One angler told me that he estimated the
body length of the shark at about 170 cm. The leaping activity occurred
about 100 metres away from their boat. The leaps were head first and perpendicular
out of the water. There were drifting while fishing for Bass,
labrax, approximately one mile west of Garden Rock, which has a
colony covering the entire rock. Atlantic Mackerel
were also in the area.
male Thresher Shark, Alopias vulpinus, was landed in Guernsey.
It was caught in gill nets about one mile south of Guernsey in about 20
metres of water. It measured 175 cm in total length, of which the long
forked caudal or tail fin is about this length.
by Richard Lord (Guernsey).
male Thresher Shark, Alopia vulpinus,
was landed at Plymouth. It was caught in a bottom set net off the south
Devon coast. The length was given at 4.04 metres, but this may have included
the long tail fin which is equal to the body length.
230 cm male Thresher Shark, Alopius vulpinus, was taken
in midwater 16 miles SSW of Eddystone Rocks, south of Plymouth, Cornwall.
Sharks are occasional summer migrants to the English Channel.
by Philip Vas.
Seven-gilled Shark, Hepranchias perlo, was caught on a bottom-set
long-line to the west of the Isles of Scilly . This only the third record
of this shark in British and Irish* waters, the other records occurring
off Cornwall and southern Ireland. It was an immature female, which made
it a large specimen for its size, when compared to Pacific specimens. The
total length of the shark was 102 cm.
does not refer to UK territorial waters.)
by Dr. Aaron C. Henderson
dissected the specimen)
Ryan Marine Science Institute
University of Ireland, Galway, Republic of Ireland.
reports not checked yet
Shark species (External)
by Philip Vas
Studies Council Publications. Tel: 01743 850370.
This book contains
a large bibliography.
Sharks (Isle of Man, UK)
Shark Fact Sheet (USA)
Search Engine (good for sharks)
Shark Discovery CD-ROM is available.
for the BMLSS
Capsules of Rays & Sharks
& Ray Species List (British)