Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Huge White shark washes up on a beach in Ireland
It was discovered by photographer Bernard Fitzgerald as he was walking on Aughacasla beach in Castlegregory, Co Kerry, at the weekend
A huge shark from the Great White family has washed up on an Irish beach.
The 1.8m female porbeagle shark was discovered by photographer Bernard Fitzgerald as he was walking on Aughacasla beach in Castlegregory, Co Kerry, at the weekend.
The arrival of the adult shark in Tralee Bay comes as a tagged Great White called Lydia is set to be the first recorded member of her species to cross the Atlantic as she swims within 1200km of our shores.
Great White shark just days from Ireland after scientists track it swimming across Atlantic
Marine biologist Kevin Flannery admitted the porbeagle shark does bear a close resemblance to the beasts made famous by the Jaws movie.
He said: “The porbeagle does look very like a Great White. People could think the Great White we have been talking about has landed in Kerry.
“They are from the same family. I’m sure it gave people a fright, especially if they had heard the Great White was coming close to Ireland.”
Shark found on Kerry beach
Kevin, head of Dingle Oceanworld, said the cause of the porbeagle shark’s death is a mystery as the adult looked healthy and there were no signs of injury.
He added: “It is a fully grown adult female. She could have died from giving birth. It’s hard to say.
“It would be early for the shark to give birth but with the weather patterns this year it could be a possibility.
“I have never seen or heard of one getting washed ashore.”
Photographer Bernard said he was astonished to stumble across the shark on the shore last Friday.
He said: “It’s the first time I have ever come across a shark in all the years I have been walking the beach.
“It looked very healthy and there were no signs if injury. I was really surprised sharks were so close to our shores.”
Meanwhile, Great White Lydia is getting closer.
The satellite-tagged 4.27m shark is causing major excitement in scientific circles as she is set to be the first Great White recorded crossing the Atlantic.
The 900kg fish has swum more than 30,000km since a tracking device was fitted to her near Florida last year as part of the Ocearch project and is now hovering in the mid-Atlantic ridge.
Mr Flannery believes the worldwide ban on hunting sharks is swelling their numbers and sending them hunting for food in the north Atlantic and off the Irish coast.
He said: “Up to a year or two ago they were being landed in Spain, Portugal and Africa and all the way up along so they never made it up to Ireland.”
Mr Flannery suspects Lydia is following a traditional feeding route tracked by other Great Whites.
He added: “They are an eating and feeding machine. She is probably on a specific feeding track.
“Down through the years they were targeted and killed but now they are a protected species we’ll possibly will see a lot more of them.”