Further evidence that a huge range of exotic species are circling UK shores surfaced this week after a swordfish was caught from the River Tyne.
The huge specimen, which measured four foot long and weighed in at almost 50lb, was accidentally captured in salmon nets that had been set in the North East waterway.
It is believed the swordfish – which is normally found in the warm waters of the Mediterranean – was hunting down salmon in the venue when the specimen became trapped in the mesh netting.
It comes just one week after an oceanic white tip shark was spotted by anglers off the coast of Cornwall, fuelling suggestions that our seas could be home to more unusual species than ever before.
Leading fisheries expert Bruno Broughton believes that such occurrences could be set to become more common in the coming years and he told Angling Times: “On its own, this capture does not really add to evidence of climate change, but if the seas really do become somewhat warmer in future, other novel species may well turn up much more frequently in commercial or anglers' catches".
“Very few swordfish are currently found to the north of the Bay of Biscay, albeit that - historically - occasional specimens have been recorded around the western coastline of the British Isles,” he added.
The fish has now been filleted at Sunderland’s Latimer’s Seafood Deli and shop team member Kieran Smith said: “This is extremely rare and it is only the second one we have ever seen. We have also had some huge tuna come into the shop in recent years which shows that species associated with warmer climes are starting to congregate off the UK.”