Huge 15ft shark caught off the coast of Cornwall

Huge 15ft shark caught in CornwallSWNS

A fisherman in Cornwall was shocked to find he had accidentally caught a huge 15ft thresher shark just 100 yards off the coast.

Chris Glaves and his crew were fishing for sea bass when they hauled in the 24 stone rare shark just north of Padstow.

The shark - a relative of the Great White - was thousands of miles from its usual home in the seas around Asia and North America.

And it drew a huge crowd when it was brought into Newquay Harbour.

Chris said: "There was nothing that could have been done to rescue it. A shark needs oxygen to breath and it got wrapped up in the net which was too tight for it.

"If the shark was alive when it came up we would have freed it. As it was dead the shark was taken to the fish market to be sold."

Huge 15ft shark caught in CornwallSWNS

Threshers have long scythe-like tails, which can make up around half of their total length, that they use to stun prey before feeding.

The breed is considered a "vulnerable" species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

Back in August, boat passengers in Wales got more than they bargained for when a rare thresher shark breached the water right in front of them.

Members of the public as well as staff from the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre were on board.

Sarah Perry, the centre's science officer, who was on board, said : "Thresher sharks are normally found in deep waters but can follow their prey closer to the shore so maybe that's what this one was doing.

"Perhaps either it or its prey were attracted by increasing sea temperatures.

"You can recognise thresher sharks by their long tails - which they use to herd their prey into tight groups before feeding on them.

"They're protected as a threatened species - they're far more at risk from us."

In the same month, an angler from Dagenham, Essex, told how he was left battered and bruised after he caught a 13ft thresher shark off the coast of Looe, Cornwall.

Martin Roberts, 49, was shark fishing with friends on a 32ft catamaran, 20 miles off the coast.

After taking pictures, the crew threw the shark back in the sea.

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13ft thresher shark caught off the coast of Cornwall

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