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Last Updated: Friday, 28 July 2006, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Shark find stirs up tourist beach
Porbeagle shark  Picture - Gwynedd County Council
The shark caused quite a stir on the beach at Black Rock
The body of a 7ft (2.13m) shark has been washed up on a popular tourist beach near Porthmadog in Gwynedd.

The porbeagle shark is also called the mackerel shark because it spends its time chasing schools of the fish.

It can live for up to 30 years and when found in Welsh waters, it is usually further south in Cardigan Bay.

Gwynedd Council maritime officer Barry Davies said according to its records it was the first time this type of shark had been washed up in the county.

The body was found by council beach wardens on Sunday at Black Rock sands and taken to the University of Wales in Bangor for a post-mortem examination.

At over 7ft it was causing a bit of excitement on the beach
Barry Davies, maritime officer

"From what I could see there was nothing obvious which could have killed it, but it could have been caught up in fishing nets and then thrown overboard," said Mr Davies.

He said the shark did not pose a risk to humans as it did not venture into shallow waters, but it was fished in the bay by "sports fishermen".

Shark's teeth  Picture - Gwynedd County Council
The shark had "a fine set of teeth", says maritime officer Barry Davies

"At over 7ft it was causing a bit of excitement on the beach, however," added Mr Davies.

Clare White, curator at the Anglesey Sea Zoo, said the porbeagle was quite a common shark in north Atlantic waters, but listed as "vulnerable" on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources "at risk" list.

"It is part of the lamnidae family of sharks which includes the great white and mako shark which have such a poor reputation," said Ms White.

"It's a very fast swimming shark which chases its prey, and although it is a UK species of shark it's far too big to be kept in captivity at the zoo," she added.

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