Experts intrigued by appearance of Selsey sharks

50 sharks swam into the shallow intertidal waters at RSPB Medmerry, near Selsey

50 sharks swam into the shallow intertidal waters at RSPB Medmerry, near Selsey

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THE SHARK Trust has said it is ‘amazed and intrigued’ by footage showing dozens of smoothhound sharks off the coast near Selsey.

RSPB warden Peter Hughes spotted the fish in the water at the Medmerry Nature Reserve and his footage has been getting a lot of attention from the public and experts alike.

John Richardson, conservation officer at the Shark Trust, said: “The Shark Trust often receives reports of Starry Smoothhounds from the Sussex coast, although usually single animals seen in harbours or by anglers.

“To see such a large number in this lagoon – which appear to have returned to this site more than once – is not only an amazing spectacle, but also intriguing.

“We can only speculate that these sharks have found something good to eat, and don’t appear stressed by being cut of from the sea for a tidal cycle.”

He said starry smoothhounds were ‘important predators’ in the UK coastal waters, mainly eating custaceans, squid and fish.

The shark is vulnerable to capture in a wide range of fishing gear, and starry smoothhound landings by commercial fishing vessels have increased significantly over the past decade, with no catch limits in place for this species, said John.

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The Shark Trust's guide to the Smooth-hound shark.

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The Shark Trust's guide to the Smooth-hound shark.

The Shark Trust's guide to the Smooth-hound shark.

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