A man on a fishing boat off the Welsh coast was left stunned when something he spotted in the water near his boat turned out to be a large shark. Alex Nel spotted the shark on Saturday morning as he was out at sea near Strumble Head in Cardigan Bay, Pembrokeshire.
He managed to capture the encounter on video, and the footage shows two fins above the water a matter of yards away from the boat. As the boat moves around and nearer to the creature, Alex’s surprise is obvious when he realises what he is next to. You can get the latestWalesOnline newsletters e-mailed to you directly for free by signing up here.
“What the f***?” he asks, before shouting ‘”it’s a f****** shark!”. The shark is then clearly visible from above the water as it swims within a few feet from Alex, who estimated its length at around 14ft long, around two feet shorter than his boat.
The shark was understood to have been a basking shark which, according to the Natural History Museum, is Britain’s largest fish. They can grow up to 12 metres in length and weigh up to six tonnes. They only eat microscopic animals called zooplankton, and can be found in British waters between May and October.
The waters of west Wales are becoming something of a popular spot to catch a glimpse of sharks, if the recent hot weather is anything to go by. Earlier this month, another basking shark was spotted yards from North Beach in Tenby by two people out sailing on a summer’s evening. That one was estimated to be around 12ft in length.
Just a few days later, a 9ft thresher shark was filmed jumping from the sea near Pen-yr-Afr, between Cardigan and Moylgrove in Pembrokeshire. The thresher shark is a migratory species that passes through UK waters during the summer. They can grow up to six metres in length and weigh up to a whopping 340kg.
They can live for up to 50 years and are classed as vulnerable according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They, like basking sharks, are considered harmless to humans and not aggressive.
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