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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 August, 2003, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
Final leg of shark hunt
Great White Shark
A Great White was allegedly seen by Padstow fishermen in 1999
A conservationist has begun the final leg of his search for great white sharks in British waters.

Richard Peirce set sail from Padstow, in Cornwall, a fortnight ago on his 8,000 hunt for the predator.

But after 13 days at sea the 55-year-old from Bude has yet to glimpse the elusive creature.

Before setting sail for the last time on Wednesday Mr Peirce said he was disappointed his team had not found more sharks.

It is frightening the amount of sharks we haven't found
Richard Peirce

"My main impression is that there is a real lack of sharks here now," he said.

"We have been working areas with a crew of professional shark anglers and it is frightening the amount of sharks we haven't found," he said.

"I would liken our trip to going to a game park and discovering that someone had killed all the mammals."

Mr Peirce is joined on the private charter boat the Blue Fox by South African shark expert Craig Ferreira, Padstow skipper Phil Britts, crewman Mike Turner and a documentary film crew.

So far the team have spotted blue sharks, basking sharks, and porbeagles (mackerel sharks).

Lifelong enthusiast

They will continue monitoring north Cornwall waters for signs of shark life during the summer.

During the expedition the crew set sail each morning and returned to land each night.

It was hoped a great white shark would be drawn to the scent of fish remains released into the water from the boat.

Mr Peirce, a freelance marketing consultant and lifelong shark enthusiast, has paid about 8,000 for the expedition out of his own pocket.

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