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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 August, 2003, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
Shark hunters wait for a bite
Great White Shark
A Great White was allegedly seen by Padstow fishermen in 1999
A shark enthusiast who launched a 10,000 search for Great White Sharks in British waters has yet to find the elusive creature.

Richard Peirce is half way through a two-week search for the world's most fearsome predator.

So far he has tagged three Blue Sharks - but there has been no sign of the Great White.

The hunt follows a claim by a 14-year-old amateur marine biologist that she saw a Great White off the north Devon coast.

Mr Peirce, 55, of Bude, Cornwall, is on board the private charter boat Blue Fox with South African shark expert Craig Ferreira, Padstow skipper Phil Britts, crewman Mike Turner and a documentary film crew.

The problem is that not only are we looking for a needle in a haystack, but that needle is moving
Richard Peirce
Mr Peirce, a freelance marketing consultant and life-long shark enthusiast, said: "We are finding depressingly few sharks.

"We should be finding a lot more with the expertise we have on board."

A group of experienced fishermen on the Blue Fox claimed in 1999 that they had seen a Great White.

But Mr Peirce remained hopeful that the team - which have moved their search to waters around Lundy Island - would still glimpse the Great White.

Baited line

He said: "I hope that if we carry on doing the right things and there is an animal in the area, then we would be certain of finding it.

"The problem is that, not only are we looking for a needle in a haystack, but that needle is moving."

The team is hoping to lure a Great White with the scent from fish remains released into the water from the boat.

A baited line with a float attached will be used to draw the creature closer.

Once it is within reach, the team will attach a tag to help trace its future movements.

If the team's search is successful, they will lobby for Great White sharks to be given special protection against being fished or hunted in British waters.




SEE ALSO:
Hunter's great white hope
06 Aug 03  |  Cornwall
Teenager prompts shark hunt
06 Aug 03  |  Cornwall
'Great White Shark' spotted
01 Aug 03  |  Devon


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