Cornwall

Anglers land thresher shark in Cornwall

The fishermen with the thresher shark Image copyright Daniel Hawkins
Image caption The thresher shark was caught off the coast of north Cornwall

A group of amateur fishermen have landed what they believe to be a record-breaking thresher shark.

The men spent over an hour dragging the 368lb (167kg) beast on board the boat off the coast of Cornwall on Sunday.

One of the men, Nick Lane, said they had submitted a record application after the Shark Trust calculated the weight based on the shark's dimensions.

"I was jumping up and down like a little school girl", Mr Lane said. "All hell broke loose."

Thresher Shark latest

"Suddenly the rods took off, they were absolutely screaming," he said.

Mr Lane, a garage owner from Washford in Somerset, said when they got the shark on board they measured it and took photographs before letting it back into the water.

Image copyright Daniel Hawkins
Image caption The thresher shark was caught off the coast of north Cornwall

John Richardson, Shark Trust conservation officer, praised the anglers for putting the shark back into the sea.

He said: "Here in the Northeast Atlantic Threshers are listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

"The Shark Trust applauds the anglers for returning the shark alive to the water, especially as it may well have been a potential record."

To be the largest shark caught in British waters it will need to break the previous record set in 1982 by a 323lb (147kg) thresher shark.

However, Mike Heylin, chair of the British Record Fish Committee (BRFC), said the fish could not become an official record because the committee rules "insist on the fish being weighed on land" but would instead go on the "notable fish list".

Mr Heylin said the list was established after it became clear the weight rule effectively encouraged the "unacceptable" practice of killing fish to establish a record.

"I have seen the photographs, it's a very large fish, it's a very exciting capture and he [Mr Lane] should be very proud of himself", he said.

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