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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 September 2005, 19:59 GMT 20:59 UK
Fisherman hauls in 'record' shark
Blue shark captured off the west Wales coast
It took three men to hold the mighty animal
A 73-year-old fisherman from Haverfordwest has caught what he says is the biggest blue shark ever to be landed off the coast of Wales.

Ronnie Webb says the shark is just four pounds below the British record, set in 1959 off Cornwall.

The fish, caught while angling about 25 miles off Milford Haven, weighed 214 pounds, was 107 inches long and measured 40 inches around the girth.

The boat's skipper filmed the shark before it was returned to the sea.

Mr Webb described the moment he trapped the mighty shark on a trip on Monday.

"We fished most of the day and it was very quiet," he said.

It was 107 inches long and 40 inches around the girth.
Ronnie Webb

"All of a sudden I moved my bait and the reel started to scream.

"The skipper shouted 'Ron Ron, it's your rod' and I ran up and grabbed it and put it in the harness and I had a battle on."

Mr Webb described how it then took between 35 to 40 minutes to land the fish "in a mighty battle".

The pensioner previously held the record for the biggest blue shark caught off the west Wales coast, so reeling in the latest giant catch was nothing new.

After it was finally pulled on the boat the shark was weighed and washed down before being measured.

Bolted

"It was 107 inches long and 40 inches around the girth. Sitting on the lap of three of us and still going beyond the three of us and we're not tight together.

But although the shark seemed certain to be a record-breaker, the fisherman will never have it officially confirmed because it was then put back in the sea.

"It just turned around and bolted for the bottom. It was delighted," he said.

Dave Lewis, a consultant editor with Sea Angler magazine, described the fish as "massive".

"It was a huge blue shark by European standards," said Mr Lewis. "There are lots of blue sharks off the south west coast of Wales but the blues tend to stick to deep water."

Mr Lewis added that more than 130 blue sharks had been caught off that coast since July - although none as big as Mr Webb's - in part of a move to increase angling tourism.




SEE ALSO:
Blue shark sighted near the coast
02 Sep 05 |  Cornwall
Man spies bull shark under board
19 Aug 05 |  Cornwall
Man-eater shark sighting 'error'
12 Aug 05 |  Cornwall
Giant shark saved from net trap
22 Jul 05 |  Cornwall
Surfers scare as 'shark' sighted
22 Jul 05 |  Cornwall
US boy hurt in new shark attack
27 Jun 05 |  Americas


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