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Fin Believed To Be Great White Shark's Spotted Yards From British Beach

Jess Hardiman

| Last updated 

Fin Believed To Be Great White Shark's Spotted Yards From British Beach

A fin believed to belong to a Great White shark has been spotted near a popular British beach, having been photographed by a local. 

James Venn, 42, spotted a triangular fin jutting out of the water while he was standing on the beach at Goring-by-Sea near Worthing, West Sussex – initially just thinking it was a seal. 

The web designer followed the creature when it surfaced just 30 yards from the shore, grabbing his camera with a zoom lens to wait for it to reappear. 

It then emerged once again, this time 60 yards out, and Venn was able to capture it in photos, studying the images later to see what he realised was a shark’s fin. 

He then sent the photos to experienced shark fisherman Graeme Pullen, who said it is 'an undisputed shark'. 

Credit: BNPS
Credit: BNPS

Due to the size of the animal, and the distinctive triangular shape of its dorsal fin, he said it could only be a Mako or a small Great White shark – but ruled out a Mako because of the cold temperature of the water. 

Pullen, 70, believes the beast in the images could be an immature Great White, which had come close to the shore to feed on seals and bass. 

If proven to be a Great White – or Carcharodon carcharias in Latin – it would be the first time one has ever been confirmed in UK waters. 

Credit: BNPS
Credit: BNPS

It was photographed just 30 miles away from another credible sighting of a Great White off Hayling Island, Hampshire, back in 2017. 

Venn, who is from Goring, spotted the suspected shark at 12.44pm on 4 February, in waters where a man had been surfing shortly beforehand. 

Venn said: "I went down to the beach to feed the birds when I saw something come up just behind the waves. 

"I couldn't make out what it was so I followed it along the shore."

Credit: BNPS
Credit: BNPS

Great Whites can grow up to 20ft in length and weigh 5,000lbs, and can live for 70 years. 

They are responsible for more human attacks than any other shark species, with 11 human deaths from shark attacks and 73 unprovoked attacks recorded in 2021 – an increase after three years of decline, according to the Independent

Pullen, who has caught hundreds of species of shark off the British coast during his 45-year career, said the animal may be living in the Chichester and Langstone Harbours – a protected area where commercial fishing is banned. 

However, as a shark can travel 70 miles a day, it could easily roam the area from Worthing to Southsea. 

He said: "Analysing the photo it is obviously a shark - this can't be disputed. 

"I've always thought there was a shark there as there have been so many sightings by fishermen, but James has managed to photograph the fin. 

Credit: BNPS
Credit: BNPS

"I am sceptical about it being a Mako as I don't know of them eating seals. 

"It can only be a small, immature Great White who was looking for seals or bass to eat as they are more likely to come in close [to land] to feed. 

"A Great White could comfortably live permanently in these waters." 

Featured Image Credit: BNPS

Topics: UK News, Animals

Jess Hardiman
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