Species hunt success

AFTER four years of trying John Shapland has achieved his target of catching 50 different species of sea fish in the space of 12 months.

Following an amazing show of dedication, commitment and raw determination the 37-year-old from Barnstaple in Devon recently completed the challenge with the capture of a thornback ray.

As well as catching more common species such as smooth hounds, dover sole and trigger fish he also banked species often overlooked by the every-day sea angler including the three bearded shore rockling, sand goby and long spined sea scorpion.

He said: “I was first inspired to try and catch so many species after hearing about a chap called Mike Thrussell who achieved a similar feat. It was a bit of a mad idea, but I have really enjoyed doing it as not many others have done it. I’ve come close in previous years but until now always fell just short. It is really hard because some of the more elusive species have to be targeted at a specific time of the year.”