Great white sharks ‘more than likely’ to be swimming off our coast

0
18


It’s “more than likely” that great white sharks are swimming in UK waters because of warmer temperatures after numerous sightings by fishermen, it has been claimed.

Ashley Lane, who runs pleasure cruises and fishing trips out of Paignton, says he has heard several reports of what fishermen believe to be the large sea predator, reports DevonLive.

And while Ashley says sightings have gone cold lately, he believes they are still out there.

He said: “There are more than likely great whites out there, mainly off the Cornish coast, but I’ve heard nothing so far this year. We usually hear more rumours.

“We’ve seen a few pods of common dolphins with juveniles in the bay and there are definitely tuna swimming around too.”



A great white shark
A great white shark

Last year it was revealed that warmer sea temperatures around our coast could attract new species – including hammerhead and great white sharks – from Mediterranean and African waters.

“I think species like this swimming off the Devon coast would be a great thing and definitely good for my trade – people would love to see that sort of thing, said Ashley. “However, you are then baiting wildlife which interferes with the ecosystem – they are not pets and shouldn’t be treated as such.”

He has also revealed the impact coronavirus has had on his business, saying: “Our 100-seater boat is running at about 50-60% capacity to allow social distancing.

“We have taken all the possible precautions including spacing people out on the seats, separate booths for families, screens, face masks for passengers, hand sanitisers and face shields for staff so guests can still be greeted with a smiling face.

“The level of interest in the trips is down, but those who have been out with us have enjoyed it even more and really appreciated the efforts we’ve gone to to make people feel safe.”

More species could be heading towards the UK from places such as the Mediterranean and the coast of Africa as seas become warmer due to climate change, according to the research commissioned to mark Nat Geo Wild’s Sharkfest.

Dan Garnett, known in North Devon as Dan The Fish Man, said: “It’s great news that the water here is getting warmer and that more shark species are coming here. It’s not just more sightings, there is a definite change happening.

“However, I would urge caution. While they’re not dangerous and I wouldn’t tell anyone to stay out of the sea, people do need to respect the water. We have a beautiful coastline with stunning clear water and if you do hook a shark, please don’t land it.”

Dr Ken Collins, from the University of Southampton, based at the National Oceanography Centre and former administrator of the UK shark tagging programme, said: “It’s likely we will be seeing more sharks spread from warmer regions such as the Mediterranean Sea towards our waters in the UK over the next 30 years.

“These include the likes of blacktips, sand tigers and hammerheads, which are currently found swimming off the coasts of Spain and Portugal.”

He added: “Though while the potential number of shark species around the UK may increase in the next few decades, the overall number of sharks, especially the larger ones, will fall as a result of over-fishing, plastic waste and climate change. It’s really important we work together to prevent a premature extinction of these wonderful creatures.”

He also said he saw “no reason” why there should not be great white sharks in UK waters, as they were found in colder waters off South Africa and favoured seals to eat.

But numbers of great whites, hit by an image problem since the movie Jaws, are in decline worldwide so the chances of seeing them in the UK falls each year, he said.

Polling of 2,000 British adults for Nat Geo Wild found four in 10 people admitted to an irrational fear of sharks while swimming in the sea, while more than eight out of 10 think they have been given a bad reputation by Hollywood.

A spokesman for Nat Geo WILD said sharks had been portrayed for too long in a one-dimensional way, as terrifying predators, and Sharkfest aimed to reveal the “true awe-inspiring nature of sharks”.

10 new species of shark that could inhabit British waters by 2050

1. Great hammerhead

2. Blacktip shark

3. Sand tiger or spotted raggedtooth shark

4. Bigeye thresher

5. Longfin mako

6. Bronze whaler or copper shark

7. Oceanic whitetip shark

8. Silky shark

9. Dusky shark

10. Goblin shark



Source link

قالب وردپرس

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here