MARK'S BLOG: Killer shark off Cornish coast - not!

It only seems like yesterday when I went off on a rant about the media reporting on shark attacks and sightings, and now they are at it again!

What now seems like an annual event, the 'Summer of Shark' has kicked off earlier than usual, and this time, instead of the normal great white sightings, a fishermen has claimed to have had his boat rammed by an oceanic whitetip off the coast of Cornwall.

Now forgive me for being cynical, but is it perhaps just coincidence that the shark he has chosen to 'sight' is the one that was all over the media during the rash of shark attacks off the Egyptian coast, so it is more en-vogue than great whites, which haven't really been in the mainsteam media that much recently.

Much as basking sharks get called great whites every year, isn't it far more likely that it was a probeagle - a species often seen off  the Cornish coastline - and not an oceanic whitetip? The guy in question was fishing for mackerel - a favourite food of porbeagles - so that might explain why it was drawn to the boat.

Of course, there is the slightest chance that it really was an oceanic whitetip - with about the same odds as a whaleshark being seen off Anglesey...

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