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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 August 2006, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Skipper nets 'miracle' swordfish
Peter Dent holding the swordfish
The swordfish was thousands of miles from its usual habitat
A fisherman has caught what has been described as a "miracle fish" off the North East coast.

Peter Dent spotted the Mediterranean swordfish thrashing about in his salmon net a mile off Newbiggin-by-the-Sea in Northumberland on Monday.

It is thought the 6ft-long, 58lb specimen was following mackerel shoals.

Fishing commentator Sam Harris said it was the first time he had heard of a swordfish being caught in chilly British waters.

He said: "It's a miracle. This fish is 2,000 to 3,000 miles off course. It just proves how the water temperature is hotting up.

It was thrashing about in the net, it was going wild in fact, and at first I thought it was a shark and then I saw its sword
Peter Dent

"I couldn't believe it when someone told me, I thought it was a joke. It is absolutely amazing, it shouldn't be up here.

"But it doesn't look diseased and is in 100% good condition, probably from feeding on the huge shoals of mackerel here.

"They are found in the North Atlantic, the Pacific, the Mediterranean, but certainly not in the North Sea.

"I have never heard of one taken on our coastline and I don't remember hearing of one taken anywhere around the British Isles."

Mr Dent, a father of two, apparently tried to free the swordfish, but its long beak was damaging his net, so he had to kill it.

He said: "It was thrashing about in the net, it was going wild in fact, and at first I thought it was a shark and then I saw its sword.

"This is the first one I have ever seen and I was fortunate to catch it, but you could say the swordfish was not so lucky."

He sold it to a local restaurant for an undisclosed amount.




SEE ALSO
Five in first Cornwall shark swim
06 Aug 06 |  Cornwall
Shark find stirs up tourist beach
28 Jul 06 |  North West Wales

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