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Guides: Sharks

Last Updated: Tuesday March 29 2005 15:40 GMT

Jaws in the UK?

Fishing boats

There are lots of sharks around the UK but the good news is they are not dangerous to humans.

In fact there have never been any shark attacks on swimmers using the beaches of northern Europe - it just doesn't happen.

In 1999, a fishing boat off Cornwall did report seeing a five metre long Great White shark, the type made famous in the film Jaws. The story got on the news and you might still hear people talking about it.

The reality is that the nearest to the UK Great Whites have ever been caught is in the bay of Biscay, off eastern France. It's a long way away and only four have been netted there in over one hundred years.

The seas around Britain and France are used by loads of fishing boats. If dangerous sharks were about, fishermen would catch lots of them. They don't, so we know that there is no resident population.

There may be some visiting sharks, but they are so rare that they are no threat to people.

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