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Great white shark dorsal fin in sea
Photograph: Shutterstock

The UK’s ‘first great white shark’ has been pictured off the south coast

A tell-tale dorsal fin was spotted just 30 metres from the shore in Goring-by-Sea, West Sussex

Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Sophie Dickinson

James Venn had a pretty unusual day at the beach last week. The web designer was walking along the shore in Goring-by-Sea, West Sussex, when what appeared to be a shark fin peeped out of the water’s surface, around 30 metres out to sea. He took a photo, of course, and told a few people. Now, an expert has weighed in and said it’s likely to have belonged to a great white shark – the first ever sighted in UK waters.

Speaking to local news site Sussex Live, shark fisherman Graeme Pullen called it ‘an undisputed shark’. Having examined the dimensions of the fin, he said it was likely to either be a Mako shark or a great white. But Makos are known to be fussy about water temperatures so Pullen said it was much likelier to belong to their bigger, torpedo-shaped cousin. 

The fisherman also said that the shark was spotted in an area of the south coast where commercial fishing is banned, so was unlikely to have been disturbed all that much and may even have been able to carve out a pretty tranquil existence in our waters. Which is just a little bit scary. Here’s hoping it stays well away from us on land, eh?

Did you see three species of shark have been found living in the Thames?

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