2 fishermen recently reeled in the largest shark ever caught in British waters, a 10ft pregnant porbeagle. Estimated to have weighed around 550 lbs, it easily beats the 507 lbs record for the previous biggest shark caught off the north Scottish coast in 1993.
Chris Brown, a marine biologist for the chain of SeaLife centres, said: ‘if the length and bulk descriptions of this fish are accurate then its probably not far off the 550lbs mark.
‘The pictures certainly seem to support the fisherman’s story.’
Richard Peirce, chairman of the Shark Trust and Shark Conservation Society, said the huge size of the fish meant it was a probably a female – and possibly pregnant.
He praised the anglers for releasing the endangered shark back into the water.
Mr Peirce added: ‘At that size it was almost certainly a female.
‘There have been quite a lot of reports of pregnant female sharks in UK waters over the years.’
Strict rules laid down by the British Records Fish Committee state that any claim has to be weighed on scales on land, which means big fish caught at sea would have to be killed.
David Mitchell, marine campaigns manager at the Angling Trust, said: ‘It is clear that it is an outstanding and massive specimen.
‘It could well be a record fish but because it was released unharmed in the water we will never know.’
He added: ‘The committee does not accept fish weighed or measured on a boat but it has recently launched a notable fish list in order to recognise such catches as all but a record.’
Porbeagles are part of the Lamniform grouping along with Mako Sharks (Blue dynamite with a short fuse), but so are the bizarre looking Goblin, Megamouth, and various types of Thresher sharks. Then again, so is the harmless Basking Shark.
Yes they are all ‘related’ to the ‘Man eating Great White’ like a Cougar is related to a domestic cat. Porbeagles, despite their teeth, have yet to be implicated in a documented attack on humans. Sharks in UK waters are common but specimens of this size are, obviously, quite rare.biggest shark