Hayling great white ‘could be basking shark’

Reports of a great white shark are unfounded, says Shark Trust
Reports of a great white shark are unfounded, says Shark Trust
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RUMOURS of a great white shark off the shore of Hayling Island are unlikely to be true, according to an expert.

The news comes after a documentary stating that a great white has been swimming around Solent waters was posted online.

Managing director of Shark Trust Paul Cox says that without photographic evidence, it is impossible to claim that a great white shark is patrolling the waters.

He said: ‘The fact of the matter is this – until we see a photo of the shark, we cannot say that there is one in the area.

‘It does seem rather unlikely to me; despite the warm weather recently, I’m not sure that the conditions would suit a great white shark.’

Despite this, Mr Cox says that there could be other types of shark near Hayling Island, which could explain the sightings.

He added: ‘There are some sharks that can be seen in UK waters – if I had to guess, if there was one in the area it would likely be a mako or basking shark.

‘For it to be a great white shark would be rather incredible, but we need a photograph instead of going on hearsay.’

Fishing journalist Graeme Pullen spoke to commercial fishermen and others who work on the water, who said that they had all seen a shark fin near Eastney beach.

In the video, machine operator Jason Carpenter – among others – claimed to have seen the shark first-hand.

He explained: ‘We were working away – I turned around to look out into the water and saw a large fin heading out towards sea.

‘I spoke to the other guys about it; they both saw it and decided they weren’t going to be swimming in the Solent for a while – at least until it is caught.’

Although there are many first-hand accounts, there has not yet been a photograph taken of the shark.