Great white sharks could soon appear in BRITAIN: Scientists warn populations are moving towards Cornwall in search of food
- Ocearch believes that great white sharks may head to Ireland and Cornwall
- Waters are a good temperature to host sharks and both areas are home to seals
Great white sharks have been a distant nightmare for Brits ever since the release of Jaws back in 1975.
But now, experts warn these man-eating fish could soon crop up in UK waters as they migrate north in search of prey.
The US-based Ocearch, which has 400 sharks tracked, claims that great whites are likely to head for Ireland and Cornwall this summer.
Not only is the water a perfect temperature at this time of year, but both locations are also brimming with sealion populations.
These attributes form an ideal hunting ground, according to Ocearch’s founder Chris Fischer, who told The Times that sharks may linger year on year.
Great white sharks have been a distant nightmare for Brits ever since the release of Jaws back in 1975. But now, experts warn these man-eating fish could soon crop up in UK waters as they migrate north in search of prey
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He told the publication: ‘We believe that Mediterranean white sharks should be moving north to feed on seals, like all the other populations we have worked on.
‘We believe they should be moving up past Brest [in Brittany] and Cornwall.’
While South Africa and Australia are frequently associated with great whites, these fish can be found in numerous spots across the world.
Wildlife conservationist Richard Peirce claims that more than 100 ‘sightings’ have been reported in the UK during the last 15 years.
But just 12 of those remain credible, with six having occurred on the Cornish coast.
Despite this lack of frequency, the UK coastline is believed to host ideal conditions for great white sharks.
The normal temperature range for this species is between 57.2°F/14°C and 68°F/20°C which fits with British water in the summer.
Gavin Naylor, the Director for the Florida Program for Shark Research, believes there is ‘no reason’ why they shouldn’t lurk near Britain.
‘Strictly speaking there is no reason that white sharks should not occur off the UK coast,’ he told MailOnline.
The US-based Ocearch has 400 sharks tracked (labeled blue) in addition to turtles (dark green), dolphins (red) and alligators (light green)
‘The habitat is appropriate and there is plenty of food available.’
However, Mr Naylor stressed there is no clear contemporary evidence of their migration towards the UK, even if they do swim nearby from time-to-time.
He continued: ‘Predators move primarily to find food and/or to find mates.
‘Even though there is plenty of potential White Shark food in the waters off the UK, White Sharks are evidently content with the tried and true food supplies that they currently exploit. This of course, could change in the future.’
GREAT WHITE SHARKS: THE FACTS
Great white sharks have such a strong sense of smell that they can detect a colony of seals two miles away
These fish give birth to up to ten ‘pups’ but mothers will eat them if they don’t swim off fast enough
They swim at up to 37mph at full pelt and burst out of the water from below their prey
They attack 5-10 humans every year but usually just take a ‘sample bite’ out of curiosity before swimming off
Great whites can live to up to 70 years old
They are colored white underneath to make them harder to see from below with sunlight shining down
They have several rows of teeth that can number into the thousands
As their teeth fall out they are replaced by razor sharp teeth in the row behind
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