Uk News Climate change could bring new shark species to UK waters United Kingdom news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! As thousands of tourists flock to Devon and Cornwall this month for a summer break, they may not realise they are heading to the shark capital of the UK. Waters around the British coast are home to around 40 different species of shark, and Cornwall is a hotspot for shark activity. Swimming around the rocky coastline visitors can spot basking sharks, blue sharks, thresher sharks, cat sharks, porbeagles, and smoothound sharks, to name just a few. Meanwhile, marine biologists suspect that as climate change warms the oceans, new species such as sand tiger sharks and blacktip sharks could make their way to British waters, popping up first in the far South West. That may terrify members of the public after news this week of a shark attack off the coast of Penzance, in Cornwall. The swimmer was bitten on the leg by a blue shark while on a snorkelling excursion. She was treated with first aid and the firm Blue Shark Snorkel Trips said she “walked off the boat” to receive further treatment whilst ashore. Unprovoked attacks by sharks are incredibly rare. Of the 500 species of sharks known globally, only around 20 are documented to have done any harm to humans. An attack in UK waters is even rarer. Britain’s biggest shark, the basking shark, eats plankton. Most of the other larger species, like the porbeagle or the blue shark, live in deep waters and rarely approach humans unless invited. The smoothound – common in shallow waters – has no teeth, relying on crushing plates to crunch its diet of crabs and lobsters.According to the International Shark Attack File, the world’s only scientifically documented, comprehensive database of all known shark attacks, there have only been three unprovoked shark attacks in UK waters since 1847 when records began. A basking shark off the coast of Ireland (Photo: George Karbus Photography / Getty Images/Image Source)The most recent, according to Dr Georgia Jones, a marine biologist based at Bournemouth University, was in 2017. “A surfer was bitten on the thumb by a smoothhound, which caused a bruise,” she chuckles. An incident like the one reported in Penzance last week is “incredibly rare” she says.
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. More on SharksI was attacked by a shark while swimming - but I don't want people to fear them04 August, 2022Woman bitten by shark while snorkelling off coast of Cornwall, HM Coastguard says02 August, 2022Public urged to hit the coast on trail of sharks in Easter Eggcase Hunt03 April, 2022Sharks are hugely endangered. A quarter of the world’s shark and ray populations are classed as critically endangered, and more than half of the shark species that live in UK waters are classed as ‘threatened’ or ‘near threatened’, according to the Shark Trust. Overfishing is the main culprit, says Dr Jones. “The overriding threat to sharks globally, and particularly in the North East Atlantic, is overfishing,” she confirms. “Both targeted, and by-catch – even if they [fishing boats] are not meaning to catch sharks, they still catch a lot of them while fishing for other species.” Climate change also poses a threat. As ocean temperatures rise sharks may shift territories to follow their prey, or to find cooler waters. That could bring new sharks to UK waters, according to Dr Ken Collins, a marine scientist at the University of Southampton. In 2018 he suggested new species such as hammerheads and blacktip sharks could be swimming in British seas within 30 years. But even though the UK may be home to more species of sharks in the future, overall shark numbers will continue to dwindle unless action is taken to curb overfishing, experts warn. “In 15 years’ time, are we going to have to worry about our beaches because of more potential shark attacks? I would definitely say no,” says shark conservationist Richard Peirce. Rather than thinking about sharks as a silent threat lurking in our waters ready to ruin a summer holiday, we should view them as precious wildlife that needs protecting, conservationists say. “Sharks are just wildlife,” says Paul Cox from the Shark Trust. “From time to time we come into contact with wildlife, but most of the time it goes about its business. And we should be very happy to have such diverse wildlife and we should treasure it.”
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