Shark warning: Great Whites ‘more than likely’ swimming in UK waters – ‘They’re not pets’

Shark warning: Great Whites ‘more than likely’ swimming in UK waters – ‘They’re not pets’



GREAT WHITE sharks and other species of shark and fish could be lurking in UK waters due to the warmer temperatures being experienced across the country.

According to a fisherman who runs boats off the Devonshire coast, it is “more than likely” that Great Whites could already be swimming in UK waters. Ashley Lane, a pleasure cruises and fishing trips operator in Paignton, claims the infamous type of shark had been seen by other fishermen in the waters around the West county.

While sightings of Great White Sharks are few and far between in the UK, he believes they could still be out there.

Research from 2019 points out that warmer climates in the South West of England provide temperatures that could be enticing new species.

The new temperature of the region’s waters could see an increase in shark activity.

The warmer temperature could see a rise in sightings of hammerhead sharks and other species.

Also, great whites could be migrating up from the Mediterranean and African waters once the oceans become too warm.

Speaking to DevonLive, Ashley said: “There are more than likely great whites out there, mainly off the Cornish coast, but I’ve heard nothing so far this year.

“We usually hear more rumours.

“We’ve seen a few pods of common dolphins with juveniles in the bay and there are definitely tuna swimming around.”

In 2018, Ashley said the was “sure” great whites were in the waters.

The county fisherman warned the public the creatures aren’t pets and can be dangerous.

He said: “I think species like this swimming off the Devon coast would be a great thing and definitely good for my trade – people would love to see that sort of thing.

“However, you are then bating wildlife which interferes with the ecosystem – they are not pets and shouldn’t be treated as such.”

More species could be headed towards UK waters as seas become warmer due to climate change, according to research commissioned in National Geographic WILD’s Sharkfest programming.

Shark warning: Great Whites 'more than likely' swimming in UK waters - 'They're not pets' (Image: Getty)
Shark warning: Great Whites ‘more than likely’ swimming in UK waters – ‘They’re not pets’ (Image: Getty)

The data showed that out of 2,000 British adults who took a poll, four in 10 admitted to an irrational fear of sharks.

In addition, more than eight out of 10 said they thought sharks were given a bad reputation by Hollywood.

Great whites, in particular, are depicted as ferocious man-eaters in the film Jaws.

However, humans are not the preferred prey of the shark.

Instead, they tend to prey on fish, cetaceans like dolphins, seals, sea turtles and seabirds among others.

In 2018, Ashley said the was "sure" great whites were in the waters. (Image: Getty)
In 2018, Ashley said the was “sure” great whites were in the waters. (Image: Getty)

However, they have been responsible for the largest number of fatal unprovoked shark attacks, occurring roughly ten times a year around the world.

Dr Ken Collins, from the University of Southampton and former administrator of a UK shark tagging programme, said it was “likely” sharks would be in UK waters in the next thirty years.

He said: “It’s likely we will be seeing more sharks spread from warmer regions such as the Mediterranean Sea towards out waters in the UK over the next 30 years.

“These include the likes of blacktips, sand tigers and hammerheads, which are currently found swimming off the coasts of Spain and Portugal.”

This article by Chloe Davies was first published by The Express on 15 March 2022. Lead Image: Great whites could be migrating up from the Mediterranean and African waters to the UK (Image: Getty).


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