Angling Times can this week reveal that the world’s most dangerous shark is swimming in UK waters.
The deadly oceanic white tip shark is known for its fearsome nature and reported attacks on humans, and experts have now confirmed its presence in British seas.
The news comes after experienced fisherman Nigel Hodge watched in horror as a large shark – that he described as "greyish in colour and about 10ft long" - snatched a smaller blue shark of around 60lb which he was reeling in while fishing off the Cornish coast.
The 43-year-old was positioned around 25 miles off Falmouth aboard his own boat, Wave Chieften, when the predator struck. “If you were a carp angler it would be like reeling in a specimen fish and it getting snatched by a crocodile,” he said. “I played it for a while before pulling it alongside my boat where I got a good look at it before it broke free. I managed to pull the smaller fish aboard and took photos so we could find out what had attacked it.”
Speculation was soon rife as to what shark was involved in the attack with some people suggesting the possibility of a great white, while others believed it to be a larger blue shark. Experts from the US and UK, however, have since confirmed that an oceanic white tip was responsible.
Numerous non-native sharks have previously been captured in UK waters including last month’s 400lb mako shark caught by Andy Griffith off the Welsh coast along with a reported 140lb mako caught by 14-year-old Ben Healy off the Irish coast just two weeks ago.
Shark fishing expert David Turner believes it won’t be long before more of these bigger monsters are being captured: “Most anglers these days use tackle too light to handle a fish of this size but with the recent captures of big makos more and more anglers are equipping themselves with some serious big game gear in an attempt to come to terms with one of these killers.”
- Can grow up to 13ft long and over 400lb in weight
- Are known to be drawn to long line bait that is often intended for other species
- Habitat preferences tend to be off-shore, deep-ocean areas rather than close to the shoreline
- Famed oceanographic researcher Jacques Cousteau described the species as "the most dangerous of all sharks"
- The species was also involved in several attacks on tourists in the Red Sea near Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in 2010
- Currently labelled as an ‘critically endangered’ species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)