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One Of The World’s Rarest Sharks Filmed Off Coast Of Wales

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One Of The World’s Rarest Sharks Filmed Off Coast Of Wales

A diver caught incredible footage of one of the world's rarest sharks off the coast of Wales. You can see the clip here:

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Jake Davies, a photographer and marine biologist, managed to film the critically endangered angel shark in North Cardigan Bay - the first time one has been caught on camera in UK waters.

Experts say the fact the shark is a juvenile proves the species is breeding and using Welsh waters to have their young.

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Jake said: "I've always kept an eye out for angel sharks during dives, having worked to better understand the species for the last four years.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw the angel shark, and what was really exciting was that it was a juvenile, just 30cm in length - providing further evidence that the species is giving birth in this area.

"It was incredible to watch and film it swimming, burying into the sand and then using its camouflage to ambush prey.

Credit:  Jake Davies/JDScuba/SWNS
Credit: Jake Davies/JDScuba/SWNS
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"This footage is far beyond what we thought would be possible to capture in Wales."

Jake is a coordinator for the Angel Shark Project: Wales (ASP:W) - a project that works within local communities and with anglers to gather records on the species.

The sharks are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species following a decline in their range over the last 50 years - and are a protected species in Wales meaning it is an offence to target or disturb them.

Joanna Barker, co-founder of the Angel Shark Project, said: "This footage supports our hypothesis that angel sharks give birth in waters around Wales.

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Credit: Jake Davies/JDScuba/SWNS
Credit: Jake Davies/JDScuba/SWNS

"The size (30cm) and white markings on the dorsal fin edges show the angel shark was born this year, confirming we have an active breeding population in Wales.

"This new footage is extremely useful to inform our conservation efforts for this species, especially as Wales hosts one of the last angel shark populations in the northern most part of their range."

Marine ecologist Ben Wray said: "Little is known about the status, ecology or location of important habitats for angel sharks in Wales.

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"Only four percent of angel shark records gathered by ASP:W to date are of juveniles, so this footage is extremely important.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

"It builds our understanding of angel shark ecology, including that they use both sand and mixed habitats and that the juveniles prey on gobies.

"We will use this evidence to help plan future research and discover more about this rare species in Wales"

Featured Image Credit: Jake Davies/JDScuba/SWNS

Topics: Sharks, UK News, Animals

Claire Reid
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