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Sharks & Rays 
News Page

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 two species of Electric Rays also live in the shallow seas surrounding Britain. Other species occur in deeper water.

New Millennium 
Shark & Ray News
(NE Atlantic Ocean)

February 2017

Crocodile Shark

An extraordinary find of a small shark with sharp spiny teeth was washed ashore dead at Hope Cove, south Devon, south-east of Plymouth. The discovery on the sand and rock beach by Steven Greenfields, puzzled the experts at first as it was not on the list of sharks ever discovered in British seas before. However, it had some rather distinctive features including a white patch forward of its long gill slits, and with its distinctive teeth and shape of the caudal fin, there could really be no doubt it was the first ever British record of the Crocodile Shark, Pseudocarcharias kamoharai. This shark is an inhabitant of much warmer tropical seas, oceanic over deep waters to depths of 590 metres, rising to 200 meters or less at night, and in all tropical oceans but not a common species and classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN List. It's nearest natural habitat is the Canary Islands region. It is a puzzle of how it arrived as the sea temperature is thought to be too cold (usually limited to a low of 20°C) for it to have swam all the way. 

Shark Trust
BMLSS Sharks
National Marine Aquarium
Oceanic Sharks on the IUCN Red List

September 2015

False Catshark
Scottish Tagging Programme Image

A deep water species of shark was caught in Scottish seas by scientist from Marine Scotland. The False Catshark sometimes known as a Sofa Shark, Psuedotrakias microdon, is the 72nd species of elasmobranch recorded from around Scotland. The 2 metre long 60 kg shark was caught close to the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides. This bottom dwelling shark would be normally be expected to live at depths of 1000 metres or more. 

Scottish Shark Tagging Programme  facebook

20 March 2015
A small Angel Shark, Squatina squatina, was a rare capture off Douglas. 

Report by Grant Lopes on Fishing News facebook

No details are available of where it was caught. It may have been in the Irish Sea.
Previous Report 2010

This 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 as recently as 1969
This protected shark is classified as "Critically Endangered". 
Red List entry
OSPAR Assessment
MarLIN Records
Shark Trust Factsheet

5 December 2014
A two metres long Shortfin Mako Shark, Isurus oxyrinchus, was washed ashore dead on the vast sandy shore at Barmouth, Cardigan Bay, west Wales. 

Barmouth Shark
Photograph by Harry Allday

Identification of the the Mako and Porbeagle, Lamna nasus, is difficult and I determined it to be the rarer Mako from the shape of the first dorsal fin lacking a white patch. It is difficult because of the pointed snout and position of the secondary dorsal fin I first thought it was a Porbeagle. Teeth may indicate a Porbeagle?
Porbeagle & Mako ID

Barmouth Shark Dorsal Fin
Photograph by Paul Johnson

Shark, Head and Teeth
Photograph on the flickr gallery hosted by Hugh Griffith Roberts

The dismembered remains of a recently ingested Harbour Porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, were found within the stomach of the 2.67 metre female Mako Shark

Picture Credits: CSIP-MEM

UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP)

20 October 2013
A deep water Greenland Shark, Somniosusmicrocephalus, 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 collectionThis 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. 

9 September 2013
A Porbeagle Shark, Lamna nasus, was washed ashore dead but intact on Redcar beach in the north-east England. It was 1.2 metres long.

18 July 2013
A large streamlined Shortfin Mako Shark, Isurus oxyrinchus, 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. 
(NB: this fish is very similar to the more often encountered Porbeagle Shark, Lamna nasus. The ID is usually confirmed by the teeth.

BMLSS Sharks

20 October 2012
An albino Nursehound, Scyliorhinus stellaris, was caught by angler Tojo from a boat out of Holyhead, Anglesey. The unusual white shark was returned to the sea. 


13 August 2012
An unusual 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 at Agon-Coutainville 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 for identification. 
(*probable ID only, not verified.) 
Discussion on the Marine Wildlife of the NE Yahoo Group

Smalltooth 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.

23 May 2012
An exceptionally large Porbeagle Shark, 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. 

4 April 2012
Specimen angler Andy Logan (from Carrickfergus) reeled in a huge 100 kg* Skate, Dipturus (=Raja) batis, after a two hour fight with the giant fish off Rathlin Island off the north County Antrim coast of Northern Ireland. This specimen was about 2.4 metres (8 ft) wide and 1.8 metres (6 ft) long. Specimens this size of the endangered Skate are about 60 years old. The Skate was returned to the sea. (*Reported weight and size, not verified.)
MarLIN Information

Position Statement on Sharks, Skates and Rays in Northern Ireland Waters

10 January 2012

A three metre long shark was spotted cruising the shallow seas off Exmouth in south Devon.

Report and Video by Stephen Gale
The shark seen off Exmouth is not a Blue Shark, Prionace glauca, but a Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus..

4 January 2012
A 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 shortly afterwards.

7 November 2011
The 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.

CITES Protection Vote 2010

28 July 2011
A female Porbeagle Shark, Lamna nasus, with a reported weight of nearly 300 lb (136 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.)

BMLSS Porbeagle Sharks

15 February 2011
A Blue Shark, Prionace glauca, made a surprise appearance in St. Helier Marina, Jersey.

BMLSS Blue Shark

15 October 2010

Photograph by Richard Lord  ©  2010

Gary Crane received a shock when he landed a 4.95 kg (10 lb 14 oz 11 dram)  female Marbled Electric Ray, Torpedo marmorata, on Richard 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 Bream, Spondyliosoma cantharus, presented as bait. 

BMLSS Sharks & Rays
BMLSS Angling Records Links page

19 June 2010 onwards
Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, continue to be seen from the shore off the Cornish coast. 

Porthchaple Beach, Porthcurno, Cornwall
The Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, provide a special attraction
Photograph by Charles Hood

Basking Shark Video on Facebook (by Maria Munn)
Basking Sharks on flickr
BMLSS Basking Sharks

24 May 2010 onwards
Some of the first Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, of the year are spotted off Land's End, Cornwall. "I heard a brief splash as three of the twelve sharks breached the surface" .

Video Film 2009 Link (by Dan Burton)

15 May 2010 onwards

Other Basking Shark reports from off the coast of Cornwall came from Pendeen and Praa Sands and the odd one off the Lizard. Later reports on 18 May 2010 saw the sharks off Porthcurno and Sennen. 

BMLSS Basking Sharks 1

18 October 2009
A recreational angler caught a 26.76 kg  (59 lb exactly) female Stingray, Dasyatis 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. 

The 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). This ray would have broken the British record of the fish had been caught from the shore. 

BMLSS Stingray
BMLSS Sharks & Rays
BMLSS Angling Records Links page

2 July 2009
A newly born (neonate) Porbeagle Shark, Lamna nasus, was caught and released by a young angler off the Great Bank off the east coast of Guernsey, Channel Islands. Andy Simon (father of the angler) wrote that the neonate shark weighed about 7 kg (15 lb) and was about a metre long. It was caught at 4.30 pm out from Fermain Bay. 

Porbeagle Sharks usually produce two young per uterus (four in total per litter) after a long gestation. The embryos are oophagous. The mother only fertilises two eggs in each uterus but she produces copious amounts of eggs during gestation, which the developing embryos eat. The embryos have sharp teeth to tear the skin of the eggs apart. The developing embryos have a large abdominal yolk sac, which they absorb during development. During the colder months Guernsey fishermen catch Porbeagle Sharks occasionally.  The captured adult females usually carry embryos.  It appears that Channel Island waters are a nursery ground for Porbeagle Sharks as there is evidence that Porbeagle Sharks give birth there.
Images of Embryos (by Richard Lord)

BMLSS Sharks : Porbeagle
BMLSS Shark News
BMLSS Porbeagle -1
BMLSS Porbeagle -2
Large Porbeagle Sharks
Summary of Porbeagle (Lamna nasus) litters from Guernsey and Jersey
IUCN Red List Endangered Species; Porbeagle Shark

16 June 2009
Six-gill Shark (Photograph by Leroy) Photograph by Leroy Kulczynski

A rod caught Blunt-nosed Six-gilled Shark, Hexanchus griseus, was caught about three miles off Loop Head and landed on board the Clare Dragoon out of Carrigaholt, County Clare, south-west Ireland. The fish which weighed in at 480 kg, (1056 lb), beats the existing European angling record which stands at 466 kg and was landed in the Azores. 

First Report and Photographs by Leroy Kulczynski
Report by David Proudfoot on Planet Sea Fishing Catch Report

Photograph by Leroy KulczynskiThe Six-gilled Shark is an active shark found in seas of  between 200 to 1000 metres deep. These depths occur only off the Continental Shelf to the south and west of the British Isles. Between 1960 and 1984, at least 31 specimens have been recorded off west Scotland, south-west Ireland, the Faeroe Bank, and west of Ireland down to 964 metres. The majority of reports are from the main fishing areas along the shallower slope on both sides of the Rockall Trough, which is the 1000 metre deep trench that runs between the Rockall Bank and the Irish coast. This very deep trough extends from Iceland down to the Bay of Biscay. 

Comments by Len Nevell (BMLSS)

BMLSS Six-gill Sharks Page 1
BMLSS Six-gill Sharks Page 2

26 June 2005
A shark landed at Plymouth dockside was a 118 cm (TL) female Blunt-nosed Six-gilled Shark, Hexanchus griseus, caught on longline due west of Cornwall  (50°N 8°W).
More Information on Six-Gilled Sharks (by Len Nevell)
Fishbase Entry
BMLSS Sharks

14 June 2009

A large Tope, Galeorhinus galeus, with a measured length of 175 cm was captured on rod and line from his own boat while fishing in Wigtown Bay, south west Scotland by Russell Roberts (in the photograph). The weight of this shark is estimated at 36 kg. 

BMLSS Tope Page 1
BMLSS Tope Page 2
UK Shark Tagging Programme
BMLSS Sharks & Rays
Large Tope from Sussex 1997

6 June 2009
A large Stingray, Dasyatis pastinaca, was caught in an angling competition by Gordon Pressey off the western Isle of Wight and the imperial weight was 49 lb 5 oz (22.4 kg). 

Isle of Wight County Press Report
Previous Large Stingray 2008

June 2008
A rare female Marbled Electric Ray, Torpedo marmorata, was 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

Shoreham Herald News Report

This 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.
BMLSS Sharks & Rays
BMLSS Marbled Electric Ray
Sussex Rare Fishes
Sussex Marine Life Reports 2008
Adur Nature Reports 2008

5 June 2008
In the early hours a large Stingray, Dasyatis pastinaca, was caught by an angler Ken Canning off the beach at Pagham Harbour, Sussex, and released back alive. It weighed between 65 lb and 72 lb; this should be a BR (R-C) FC record
“This magnificent fish which was probably around 72 lb as that’s what it weighed first time but it slipped of the sheet. When weighed second time it was still touching the floor but we were concerned with the health of the fish so settled on 65 lb 2 oz then returned it.” 

British Shore Caught Angling Records

Early May 2008
A Thresher Shark, Alopias vulpinus, was seen feeding at the surface off Portland, Dorset, exceptionally early in the year. 

Report by Paul Martin
BMLSS Sharks

21 November 2007
A five metre long Thresher Shark, Alopias vulpinus, was landed at Newlyn Fish Market and was caught by skipper of the Imogen, Roger Nowell, whilst trawling for squid and John Dory off Land's End, Cornwall. 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. 

BMLSS Sharks

5 September 2007
An astonishing 462+ Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, were seen in the morning between Longships and The Brisons, off the west of the Cornish mainland!  Accompanying the sharks were many Gannets, suggesting that fish and plankton would have been present. Also, in much the same place (10 km sq. SW 33) between 20 and 24 Risso’s Dolphins, Grampus griseus, and 35 Common Dolphins Delphinus delphis, were recorded. 

Report by Martin Eliot (Sennen, Cornwall) via Stella Turk MBE
on the Cornish Wildlife Mailing List

20 July 2007
Fisherman Pip Farline landed a 3 metres long Thresher Shark, Alopias vulpinus, that had become entangled in his salmon nets, 200 metres off Filey, near Scarborough, Yorkshire. Thresher Sharks are a pelagic species that are occasionally seen inshore in the English Channel, but are much rarer in the North Sea and the last one reported from off the Yorkshire coast was over 80 years ago. The length includes its abnormally long tail that it uses to strike or thresh fish. 

BMLSS Sharks

21 April 2007
A Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus, was seen near the Lizard, Cornwall, swimming out to the Point.

Click on the picture for more excellent shark photographs by Seb de Grange

Basking Shark
Photograph of 10 July 2006 by Seb de Gange


Shark Report by Seb de Gange

19 April 2007
A small (3 to 4 metres long) Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus, was seen by Edward Murray off Picklecombe Fort at the western entrance to Plymouth Sound around 2:30 pm. It was circling, apparently feeding.

BMLSS Basking Sharks

The first recorded Basking Shark was seen off Cornwall on 14 April 2007, off Lantic Bay by Roger Phillips
Cornish Baking Shark Records 2007

4 February 2007
A 7.5 metres (TL) long Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus, 2.3 tons gutted, was landed by a Dutch trawler in Denmark. The liver weighed 400 kg. 

Report by Kent Andersson

31 January 2007
Fishermen Lee Allen and Gary Cann caught a 95 kg (210 lb) Porbeagle Shark, Lamna nasus, in a net set for Bass over night in St Ouen's Bay (west coast of Jersey), half a mile off the beach. In the weeks previously several Bass had been bitten in half in their nets. The fish was sold for over £200. It is unusual for Porbeagle Sharks to be caught in the winter months, and and they are usually caught in the summer in the southern part of the English Channel.

Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Yahoo Group (Main Group)
BMLSS Sharks

c. 13 October 2006
Sport angler Anton Kristiansen was out fishing with Turid Kvammen at Smøla, off the coast of Nordmøre, northwest Norway when he hooked and landed a Bluntnosed Six-gilled Shark, Hexanchus griseus, called kamtannhai in Norwegian. It measured 2.5 meters long and weighed 120 kg (264 lb).

This shark is a large deep water predatory species that is rarely caught by commercial fishermen and even less often by anglers. The British Isles record angling catch was caught off Ireland. Hexanchus griseus have six gill slits (the majority of sharks have only five gill slits) and with only one dorsal fin set near the tail it is most distinctive.

BMLSS Sharks
BMLSS 6-gilled Sharks

6 September 2006
A 210 kg (gutted weight) Thresher Shark, Alopias, was caught in the North Sea, landed in Sweden and put on sale in Finland.

BMLSS Sharks

25 June 2006
Martin Elliot and myself have recorded large numbers of Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, off West Cornwall in perfect sea conditions throughout the day. Because of movement between the morning and evening it is hard to be exact on numbers but involved a minimum of 60 animals and a maximum of 100.

BMLSS Basking Sharks

16-17 January 2006
Twenty four egg cases of the endangered Skate, Dipturus (=Raja) batis, were  discovered on the Sandside shore near the Dounreay nuclear power plant, Caithness, west of Thurso and Scrabster Harbour and John o'Groats on the northernmost coast of mainland Scotland, the first records reported to the Shark Trust and the first records on the mainland Scotland since these egg case occurrences have been recorded. 

Egg Cases of the Common Skate

The egg cases measured between 23 to 28 cm long and 13 to 16 cm wide in a dried state and the first seventeen were discovered in a 15 minute along the beach.
When the egg cases are placed in water they expand in size.

Shark Trust Eggcase Hunt
Caithness Eggcase Walk

Report by Paula Gent with photographs by Davey Benson

Egg Capsules of Rays & Sharks (Link to the Web Pages)
BMLSS Mermaid's Purses
January 2005 Report

Egg Capsules of Rays and Sharks (Link)
25 July 2005
68.9 kg of Common (or Blue) Skate, Dipturus batis, wings (pointed snout and grey underside) were landed on Plymouth Fish market.  They were caught by the Plymouth-based beam trawler M.F.V. Joy of Ladram, which was said to have been fishing in deeper water "out to the west", the catch also included Witches and Megrims.

The Skate is an endangered species.
BMLSS Sharks and Rays

26 June 2005
A shark landed at Plymouth dockside was a 118 cm (TL) female Bluntnosed Six-gilled Shark, Hexanchus griseus, caught on longline due west of Cornwall  (50°N 8°W). This is a deep water predatory shark species. 

More Information on Six-Gilled Sharks (by Len Nevell)
Fishbase Entry
BMLSS Sharks

Late January 2005

Skate Egg Capsules from the Orkney Isles
Photograph by Richard Land

These large egg cases were washed up on the shores of the Orkney Isles, north of mainland Scotland.
The large size of these egg cases means they are almost certainly the egg cases of the endangered Skate, Dipturus batis. Over a hundred egg cases were washed up.
Full Report
Egg Capsules of Rays & Sharks (Link to the Web Pages)
BMLSS Mermaid's Purses

29 September 2004
One of the most extraordinary shark tales involved the discovery of a tropical Oceanic White-tip Shark, Carcharhinus 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.

Report and Identification by Kent Andersson

The Oceanic 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 Man. 

How could the shark have arrived in the fjord? The speculation could involves man's activities as a discard from a deep water fishing catch? 

Further Information
Fishbase entry
BMLSS Sharks

July 2004
We 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.

Report by Rae Atkins
Photograph by Rae Atkins Photograph by Rae Atkins

Photographs by Rae Atkins

This shark appears to be a Porbeagle Shark, Lamna 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. 
BMLSS Sharks

31 November 2003
A Cornish long-line fishermen has caught a total 115 Porbeagle Sharks, Lamna 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. 
BBC News Report
BMLSS Sharks

16 February 2003
A 117 cm pup long of a Blunt-nose Sixgill Shark, Hexanchus griseus, was landed at Mevagissey, south Cornwall. The shark weighed 6.3 kg before gutting. The Bluntnosed Sixgill Shark is principally a deep water species, usually found offshore and near the bottom at depths of up to 1,800 metres.  Young specimens can however occasionally be found inshore in cold water at depths as shallow as 25 - 50 metres, especially near rocky coasts or islands where deep water occurs close by.
Sixgill Shark pups measure 65 cm - 70 cm at birth and can grow up to at least 4.8 metres (over 15 ft) long. This grey coloured sharks is unusual in that compared with most species of shark, they have an extra pair of gills. Females are thought to have 22 - 108 pups per litter.
Full Report

23 July 2001
Unidentified Shark
Two divers, one of them a commercial fisherman, came across an unrecognised shark lying stationary on the bottom near Alderney in the Channel Islands. It was over a metre long and it was not any of the common shark species normally found around the islands. 
They looked in the book and came up with unlikely match of the Nurse Shark, Ginglymostoma cirratum. They said the shark remained motionless on the bottom. The body appeared dark grey with no markings.
This tropical species has never been recorded in British seas although Gerald Jennings (Calypso Publications) reports a record from Portugal.

Report by Richard Lord (Guernsey)
More Details
Full Report 

18 July 2001
A large (15 kg) Stingray, Dasyatis pastinacacaught off Helford, Cornwall was landed at Newlyn. A small (15 cm) Marbled Electric Ray, Torpedo marmorata, was caught in a crab pot off Freathy, Whitsand Bay, south-east Cornwall. Both fish are quite rare for the south-west.

11 July 2001
A young (1.5 metre long) Thresher Shark found at Gunwalloe Fish Cove, on the Lizard, Cornwall  has been confirmed as a Bigeye Thresher Shark, Alopias superciliosus.  This is the first record of this species from shallow British waters.

Previous Record from the Porcupine Bight

15 May 2001
Basking Sharks have been seen in appreciable numbers off the south Devon coast. Ten sharks were seen feeding just outside the mouth of the Salcombe-Kingsbridge estuary.

Report from Nigel Mortimer 
Earlier in the month there have been reports of up to 24 Basking Sharks of Start Point.
Report from Jenny Glanville


November 2000
Bill Chadwick reported a rare deep water shark with the name in the book as the Frilled Shark, Chlamydoselachus anguineus. It was landed in Killybegs, County Donegal, Ireland, by Michael Flannery, on board the Emerald Dawn (out of Kerry I think). This specimen (one out of 3) was sent to the Museum of Natural History in Dublin for examination.  These animals were caught as part of an on going deep sea survey in search for commercially viable deep water species run by BIM (Board Iasca Mhara). All the information was confirmed by John Hackett of BIM. 

Details by Grainne Mooney
Fishbase Entry
BMLSS Sharks page

12 August 2000
The 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 attract Wilson's Petrels and other sea birds and the sharks arrive. 

17 July 2000
An Electric RayTorpedo 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's identity 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); 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. 

Report by Witek Mojsiewicz (Aberdeen)
30 June 2000
Large Porbeagle Sharks, Lamna nasus, 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.
Report by Richard Lord (Guernsey) 

3 June 2000
A school of 20 to 30 Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, remained in the St. Ives area, Cornwall,  for more than a day.

from Steve Hollier, on the list collated by Ray Dennis
Basking Sharks 2000 (Cornwall)
Shark Page (BMLSS)

24 April 2000
Several Basking Sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, were seen from the ferry Scillonian on its way from Penzance to the Isles of Scilly . On 28 April 2000, a Basking Shark was trapped in Penzance lock until it was released at high tide.

Reports by Vince Smith & Ray Dennis

March 2000
The first Basking Shark, Cetorhinus maximus, of the summer was seen in Booby's Bay, Cornwall. The 3 metre plus shark (10-footer) was spotted by Clive James, from the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. Last summer the same stretch of coast was the scene of spectacular visits by groups of Basking Sharks.

2 January 2000
Doug Herdson (National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth) spotted a 5 metre long Basking Shark feeding in S. Mounts Bay, SW Cornwall. Basking Sharks are normally only seen in summer and are meant to stop feeding during the winter. 
Other Winter reports can be found on the list collated by Ray Dennis:

For earlier Shark Records see the Shark Page

Shark reports not checked yet 
British Sharks

Somnulosus microcephalus 
Etmopterus spinax 
Dalatias licha
Echinorhinus brucus 
Hexanchus griseus 
Heptranehias perlo
Chlamydoselachus anguineus
Squalus acanthias 
Sphyrna zygaena 
Prionace glauca 
Mustelus mustelus 
Mustelus asterias
Galeorhinus galeus
Galeus melastomus 
Scyliorhinus canicula
Scyliorhinus stellaris 
Squatina squatina
Isurus oxyrinchus
Alopius vulpinus 
Alopias superciliosus
Lamna nasus 
Cetorhinus maximus
Echinorhinus brucus 

All Shark species (External)

Recommended Guide: 

A Field Guide to the Sharks of British Coastal Waters

by Philip Vas

Field Studies Council Publications. Tel: 01743 850370. 


ISBN 0-00-220104-6
This book contains a large bibliography. 

Basking Sharks (Isle of Man, UK)
Basking Shark Fact Sheet (USA)
Inference Search Engine (good for sharks)

                Shark  Discovery CD-ROM is available.

EMail for the BMLSS
Fish Page
International Marine News
Egg Capsules of Rays & Sharks

Egg Capsules of Rays & Sharks (Link)

Fiona's Shark Mania
Sharkman's World
Shark & Ray Species List (British)

Use these links if your are familiar with the scientific classifications of marine life
British Marine Life Study Society Home Page
News 2020
News 2018
Main Links
Membership Form
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