Another one from the “Overhyped Shark Attack” Files, this one is a little more unusual than the common ‘Jaws bites man/woman/pet pitbull’ stories.
Bastion of truth and journalistic excellence*, UK’s Daily Mirror had this report on a blue shark caught by fishermen off Cornwall with reasonably small bite marks sustained by a “10 foot” shark of some description…
Supposed experts are said to be looking into the attack, which happened when one of the fishos hooked a 60lb blue shark and then watched a larger shark – thought to be a great white – takes bites out of the blue before they could pull their catch onboard.
The reporter makes the surprising mention that “Although it usually eats other sea creatures, it attacks between five and 10 humans a year around the world and has killed 29 since 1990.”
Many gossip rags don’t usually admit that white sharks are ravenous for human flesh, so this is a big admission for a tabloid.
More from the fisherman who snagged it:
“The blue shark looked like someone had taken a machete to it.
“There’s nothing round here that can do that sort of damage. I sent the pictures to a shark expert and he believes it could well be a great white.”
Well, that’s sorted then: if an ‘expert’ says so, great white it is! But probably not. Great whites can roam vast distances and aspects such as climate change-affected ocean currents or shortage of food (i.e. seals, not people) may have encouraged one closer to the UK southern coast.
Without more confirmed sightings and review by real experts, we’ll have to wave this off as a poorly-identified mako attacking a small bluey and leave it at that.
*For those not aware of sarcasm, this is a relatively straightforward example. The Mirror sits slightly above other UK papers The Sun and the defunct News of the World for integrity and believability.