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Silly season Falmouth shark story makes the news
9:27am Monday 19th August 2013 in News
The silly season is upon us and true to form the national press are reporting that a great white shark is lurking in Cornish waters.
The Mirror is saying that fisherman Nigel Hodge, who happens to run a charter boat specialising in shark fishing, "watched in disbelief as a real-life Jaws tore apart a smaller blue shark on the end of his line".
With the "fearsome beast" leaving "devastating machete-like bite marks which an expert last night said could belong to the legendary man-eater".
The paper goes on to say that Nigel, 43, who was fishing 20 miles off the coast of Falmouth last week when the monster struck, said: “It was a terrifying sight. In over 30 years of fishing these waters I have never seen anything like it.”
The Mirror added that Nigel said: “It was almost impossible to hold, as we tugged and struggled. It was really heavy and we knew we had something massive. 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.
Adding that the incident is now under investigation by experts with David Turner, 66, author of The Shark Fisherman, saying there is no way this is a shark native to UK waters.
So that's that then, everyone out of the water! Or is it. Well no, almost certainly it is not.
While no one can be sure what is lurking down there in the deep, and the British Isles theoretically within the range of a great white, what are the chances that Jaws is trawling the coastline for a victim. Slim?
Respected experts have dismissed the tale as a “scare story” with The Shark Trust saying it was shown photographs the shark bite and that they, and other renowend experts think it was made by a Carcharhinus or Requiem shark.
These can reach up to seven metres in length and can, and do attack humans, although they are rare in UK waters.
The Shark Trust said: "The Shark Trust reports with some dismay that despite having provided advice to the contrary, corroborated by international experts, that a tabloid newspaper intends to run a potentially alarmist article this weekend. The Shark Trust has issued the following statement:
"Shark Trust Chairman, Richard Peirce, was recently shown photos of a small Blue Shark which had been bitten by another shark while being reeled in by an angler off South Cornwall.
"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!”
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