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Stunning map shows where biggest sharks have been found off UK coast | UK | News

Stunning map shows where biggest sharks have been found off UK coast | UK | News

A fascinating map shows where the biggest sharks have been found off the UK’s coasts.

There are 21 permanent resident species roaming in the UK’s waters, according to the Shark Trust charity, 

Most of these are of the smaller variety and more than half are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s list of threatened species.

But larger sharks are not uncommon. The second largest fish in the seas, the basking shark, can be spotted off the coast every year between May and October.

Despite Jaws-induced fears, no species known to be dangerous to humans have ever been reported in UK waters, according to the Shark Trust.

However, new research by ocean data collector Ocearch has suggested that great whites could start migrating north from the Mediterranean.

Populations have been seen moving northward in search of seals to eat, which could lead them to the UK’s shores.

The biggest sharks found off the coast of the UK

Basking shark 

The basking shark can reach lengths of up to 40ft and is second in size only to the whale shark. They are filter feeders, mostly dining on plankton.

Basking sharks do not actively seek out food or suck in water. Instead, they swim with their mouths open up to one metre wide, catching whatever goes through. 

Porbeagle shark 

This large shark is usually found in deeper water where it hunts smaller fish including mackerel, herring and octopus.

They are strong swimmers and can travel huge distances, with one going fro Ireland to Canada.

Porbeagle sharks are endothermic, which allows them to live and hunt in colder seas than many other sharks.

Shortfin mako

The fastest shark in the sea is thought to be able to reach swimming speeds of nearly 50mph to enable them to catch fast-swimming prey such as tuna and swordfish.

These sharks are apex predators, sitting right at the top of the food chain and able to dive more than 400ft and jump 20ft out of the water. 

Smooth hammerhead

This coastal shark prefers shallow waters, living close to shore over continental shelves and inshore waters such as bays and estuaries.

Larger sharks will prey on juveniles, but adults have no major predators, feeding mainly on squid and bony fish.

Blue shark 

Blue sharks are highly migratory and make huge trans-Atlantic migrations to the British Isles every summer, travelling distances of more than 5,000 miles in a single trip.

These sharks are one of the few types that migrate in a ‘school’ or large group. Smaller blue sharks are sometimes prey for other larger sharks like the great white or the tiger shark.

Great White 

The most famous of all shark species, the closest one known to have got to the UK is over 160 miles away in the Bay of Biscay in 1977.

Experts think they have been closer as UK waters are now more suitable than other parts of the world. They are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

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