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Crew's shock as they net a rare killer shark off Padstow

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 25, 2012

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A fisherman got the shock of his life after accidentally catching a rare 320lb shark – just 100 yards off the British coast.

Boat skipper Chris Glaves netted a massive 15ft thresher shark – which can decapitate a human with just a swish of its tail.

Chris and his crew were fishing for seabass when the 320lb (144kg) shark was caught in their nets just north of Padstow, Cornwall.

The shark – a relative of the Great White – was lurking thousands of miles from its usual home in the seas around Asia and North America.

Luckily for the crew of the Good Intent boat the deadly thresher was already dead when it was brought onboard.

But it drew a huge crowd when it was brought into Newquay Harbour and then again when it was sold at Plymouth Fish Market.

Chris said: ''There was nothing that could have been done to rescue it. A shark needs oxygen to breath and it got wrapped up in the net which was too tight for it.

"If the shark was alive when it came up we would have freed it. As it was dead the shark was taken to the fish market to be sold."

The breed is considered a "vulnerable" species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

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  • toffer99  |  October 26 2012, 10:51AM

    Don't be surprised at the many inaccuracies in this story. It's taken verbatim from the Daily Mail which has zero regard for accuracy in its search for sensationalism, cancer scare stories and semi-dressed celebrities. Both this site and the Daily Mail are owned by Northcliffe. Users are advised merely to point and laugh at both.

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  • sea_tritons  |  October 25 2012, 10:55PM

    This is the second seriously misinformed article about sharks I've read today. I was under the (naive?) impression that journalists were supposed to report well researched facts and not act as scaremongers. Less than a dozen people a year succumb to accidental shark attacks, none of them threshers. Some killer they make! Humans on the other hand kill 80 millions sharks a year. The ocean has lost yet another beautiful and rightful resident.

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  • Sausage85  |  October 25 2012, 10:52PM

    Reading this typical red-top style reporting makes me so angry and frustrated as to why the writer, editor or publisher thinks its OK to print and be seen as believable information by people just as ignorant as those who wrote it in the first place. Do you genuinely believe describing such huge magnificent apex predators in such an irresponsible way? No good can come from journalism such as this, yet it continues to be written by all of the UK's main papers. In the past few years we've had photos of harmless a Basking Shark making the front page due to being stupidly mistaken for a Great White, 'Shark Attacks' where a fisherman was HANDLING a Spurdog which would rarely reach 1m long, and another shark biting a fisherman's boot, both after being taken out of the water. A quick search of the word 'Shark' on this very sight bring up a few of these ridiculous headlines! Sharks should not be vilified in this way. These animals, and thousands of others around the world deserve the concern of the public, and people need to be educated about them in the most responsible way possible so these amazing creatures remain on Earth the way they were long before we came along. I appreciate not everyone has as much interest in conservation, or even nature, as the people posting here do, but there is no reason to be ignorant about the subject as it affects everybody in some way.

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  • ChrisG  |  October 25 2012, 10:26PM

    Unbelievable reporting, it's a real shame that stories like these are written to create a 'shock' factor by spilling out mindless tripe. Thresher Sharks have NEVER been linked with any kind of unprovoked attack on a human (and only one in history which was provoked by the person it bit... which was only a minor injury and NON-FATAL), so terming it as a killer is completely ridiculous. As for 'decapitating a human with it's tail'.... what are you on about? Do you even think about what you're writing? That's just hilarious that you can be so idiotic! As InkedN says, this was a massive opportunity to write a quality article highlighting the amazing wildlife that Britain has to offer and to highlight the major conservation concerns that the IUCN has as well as raising the profile of sharks positively. Disappointing.

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  • ryjocl  |  October 25 2012, 10:23PM

    Please inform yourself of the biology of the organisms on which you are reporting. These sharks should be admired for their beauty not made out to be killers. Your story may have got just as many people reading it if you went from the angle of 'How amazing it is to find these sharks in these waters'. As mentioned by someone else commenting, sharks are in serious threat and need protection not to be falsely reported just to get readers!

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  • subakwa  |  October 25 2012, 10:18PM

    Even by local paper standards this is one of the worst-researched stories I have seen for a while. Let's correct some of the inaccuracies: 1. Threshers are native to temperate waters such as ours - they are not "thousands of miles from home" 2. There is no record on file of an attack on humans by a thresher, let alone anything to earn them the "killer" title //http://tinyurl.com/9ahzmub 3. The "story" about a decapitation from the tail was unconfirmed and extremely unlikely. It is more of an urban legend than documented fact, yet you state it as fact. 4. Threshers are not aggressive sharks. I have dived with sharks of many types, and threshers are amongst the most shy and timid. They are also exceedingly graceful and beautiful. Given the extreme pressure on shark populations due to human activity and the low fecundity of shark species in general, perhaps the angle you should have taken was focussing on this tragic waste and by catch of sea bass netting - a distinctly suboptimal fishing method from an environmental perspective as this event illustrates perfectly.

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  • sebloram86  |  October 25 2012, 10:13PM

    Totally agree Maya, Yet another piece of sensationalist journalism, I wouldn't be surprised if someone had to tell the reporter what it was! Sharks are an integral compoment in the ocean ecosystem, without them over 94% of the human population who rely on the oceans for food would face a catastrophic reduction in food. millions of sharks are still killed for no reason, we should be encouraging people to understand these beautiful creatures rather than drumming up innacurate stereotupes just to make it sound scary... why not run this for the story instead: - - - - - - - - - - BEAUTIFUL THRESHER SHARK SURPRISES FISHERMEN IN CORNWALL A fisherman got the shock of his life after accidentally catching a rare and mysterious 320lb shark – just 100 yards off the British coast. Boat skipper Chris Glaves netted a massive 15ft thresher shark – which specialises in catching fish by stunning them with its large tail. Chris and his crew were fishing for seabass when the 320lb (144kg) shark was caught in their nets just north of Padstow, Cornwall. The shark – a relative of the endangered Great White – was netted accidentally as it swam in cornish waters thousands of miles from its usual range in the seas around Asia and North America. Sadly for the crew of the Good Intent boat the thresher shark was already dead when it was brought onboard so they were unable to release it back into the ocean. The rare visitor drew a huge crowd when it was brought into Newquay Harbour and then again when it was sold at Plymouth Fish Market. Chris said: ''There was nothing that could have been done to rescue it. A shark needs oxygen to breath and it got wrapped up in the net which was too tight for it. "If the shark was alive when it came up we would have freed it. As it was dead the shark was taken to the fish market to be sold." The breed is considered a "vulnerable" species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Shark populations are decreasing rapidly due to illegal fishing practices and in particular in barbaric act of shark finning, where the fins are cut from live sharks for the tasteless asian delicay, shark fin soup. The finless sharks are then thrown into the sea where they sink to the bottom and drown in a slow and painful death. Sightings of Thresher sharks have increased in recent years and anyone who witnesses these rare and endangered sharks are asked to report their sightings to the Shark Trust by email at sightings@sharktrust.org

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  • MusselMatt  |  October 25 2012, 10:12PM

    Its possible to decapitate a human with plastic spoon if you had long enough, doesn't mean it happens. Apparently swans can break your leg with their neck? Sensationalism like this is unnecessary, it would of been an interesting story without it. Stories like this portray the wrong picture of a species that is desperately in need of our help! You could of ussed this story as an opportunity to highlight the plight of sharks and our oceans!

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  • InkedN  |  October 25 2012, 10:00PM

    The term Killer used in this article is completely inaccurate and unnecessary. Sharks globally are a severely threatened species that need our protection not our fear. Your article is very ill researched indeed; this species of shark could not decapitate a human with the swish of it's tail. You really had the opportunity to raise the profile of sharks in a positive way; giving much needed exposure to conservation projects. Your tabloid journalistic approach has ensured that you have failed on every count. Great shame!

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  • MayaPlass  |  October 25 2012, 9:38PM

    This is poor reporting, "killer"? No it isn't.Capable of "decapatating" with its tail? No! Sharks are slow to mature & population is easily effected by killing from finning, angling or bycatch. Let's not demonise a beautiful shark that we rarely get to see in our waters and will end up never seeing if they continue to be demonised. Please stop calling them, "killer". I've seen other reports about mako sharks being "killer". It sends out the wrong message & is weak sensationalism!

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