Fishermen spot 'great white shark' in Cornwall

Updated: 

Fishermen say 'great white shark' spotted in Cornwall

A group of fishermen say 'predator sharks' are swimming in the waters off the coast of Cornwall.

They say bite marks found on smaller blue sharks are proof the great white, or its relative the mako, are stalking British waters.

Last week, according to the Mirror, fisherman Nigel Hodge says he looked on as another shark attacked the blue shark he was reeling in near Falmouth.

Nigel told the paper: "As we brought it in closer we could see there were actually two sharks on the line. One was twice as big as the other – about 10ft in length, dark grey on top with a white underbelly, just like a great white.

"It became clear the smaller blue shark was being attacked by the bigger shark, and then suddenly the weight disappeared from the hook.

"The large shark seemed to roll off, flashing its white underbelly, before swimming off. It was like a large ­shadow under the water."

Nigel added that the blue shark had been badly bitten upon inspection.

And now, expert shark fisherman David Turner, 66, tells the Express: "I fished off Cornwall through the Sixties and never once landed a shark with any sort of bite marks. Over the past two summers, around 10 blue sharks have been caught already badly injured, three within as many weeks."

He went on to add that he had 'no doubt' great whites are among 'foreign visitors' to Cornish waters.

However, The Shark Trust dismissed the idea of a great white roaming British waters as a "silly season scare story".

Shark Trust Chairman, Richard Peirce, was recently shown the photos of the blue shark that had been bitten by another shark while being reeled in off South Cornwall.

According to the Falmouth Packet, a statement said: "The photos showed clear bite marks and were examined by Richard Peirce, other members of the Trust board, and a 'world acknowledged' bite and dentition expert in the US.

"The unanimous view was that the bite was not caused by a Lamnid shark (eg a Great White) but by a Carcharhinus or Requiem shark.

"Doubtless the tabloid press will be disappointed that several experts have stated it is not a Great White Shark bite.

"Parliament is out, there's not much news around so it's time for the annual Great White scare story!"

However, the British Isles is theoretically within the range of a great white and, some say, its water temperature of 14C to 20C is ideal for them.

The closest capture of a great white was off La Rochelle in France, 200 nautical miles from the UK.

Do you think a great white could be stalking British waters? Or is just 'scare story' nonsense? Leave your thoughts below.

Related articles

Rare sighting of 13ft shark leaping from sea in Wales

German tourist who lost arm in Hawaii shark attack dies

World's deadliest animals

World's deadliest animals