Cornwall Wildlife Trust has said that blue sharks are not aggressive animals following an incident last week where a snorkeller was bitten by a shark off the coast of Penzance.

The Packet reported on Tuesday, August 2 that a snorkeller was bitten by the animal while on a trip to visit the species with Blue Shark Snorkel Trips last Thursday (July, 28).

Following the incident the snorkeller was met at Penzance harbour by the ambulance service after having suffered a leg injury during the encounter.

Blue sharks are one of several species of shark that swim from the Atlantic to West Cornwall during the summer months.

Now Cornwall Wildlife Trust has reminded people that incidents like this are very rare and that people should remember to respect the animals when entering the water which is of course, their environment.

A statement on the charity's Facebook page on Thursday, August 4 said: "Following reports of an incident between a blue shark and snorkeller off the coast of Penzance, we’d like to remind people that blue sharks are not aggressive animals and rarely come inshore.

"Blue sharks feed on small fish and squid and, like other wild marine predators – be that a seal, dolphin or whale, deserve our respect when we decide to enter their environment. It is their home, and we must remember this during such interactions.

"Please do continue to go out and enjoy our marine environment responsibly, especially during National Marine Week. It is really encouraging for us to see how many of these amazing yet vulnerable creatures are being sighted in UK waters, particularly as they’re subject to terrible levels of fishing worldwide."

Despite its name National Marine Week actually lasts for 15 days rather than seven, from Sunday, July 24 until Monday, August 8. You can find out more about Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the work they do by visiting their website here.