HAS the elusive Solent shark finally been found?
A shark has been found washed up on Weston Shore, which has been confirmed as a smooth-hound shark.
The woman who discovered the shark, Beverley Jury, found the shark while walking her dog.
Beverley, 22, says that her first thoughts were to get the shark out of sight.
She said: ‘I was walking my dog on Sunday – she was coming out of the water when she started barking at something.
‘I walked over and saw the shark, and it was quite clearly dead.
‘Seeing it was rather shocking, I haven’t seen one before so it was quite surprising.
‘After bagging up the shark and hiding it out of sight – I didn’t want any children to see it or dogs to try and eat it – I put the phone call in to have it collected.’
She then posted pictures on social media, warning others about the sighting.
Beverley said: ‘I just wanted to make people aware that there had been one around, and so there could be more in the area.’
Last month fishing journalist Graeme Pullen claimed to be tracking a great white shark in Solent waters.
This claim was dismissed by experts from numerous sources, with some stating that it could be a mako or basking shark.
Smooth-hound sharks can grow to just over 1m long, meaning that the shark found by Ms Jury was likely a fully-grown adult.
John Richardson from Shark Trust says that these sharks are commonly found, and are also no cause for alarm.
He said: ‘I think that we have all heard these stories about a great white shark by now, but the smooth-hound shark doesn’t match that description.
‘After being told about it, we logged it into our database, as we do with all shark sightings – dead or alive.
‘Smooth-hound sharks tend to be caught a lot by anglers, which could be where this shark came from. They are typically put back into the ocean and usually survive.
‘There was talk that these sharks could be dangerous, but that is categorically not the case.
‘They don’t provide any sort of threat to people, so we urge people not be alarmed by any sightings.’
All shark sightings should be reported to Shark Trust – if you see a shark, you can photograph it and send it to them by visiting sharktrust.org/sightings
If anyone comes across a dead marine animal that has been washed ashore, they must call the UK Cetaceans Investigation Programme on 0800 652 0333.