Baby sharks have been found in the UK, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), the UK’s largest shark charity.
The RSPCA said it had seen a large number of baby sharks in England and Wales, as well as in the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.
It said it would now be monitoring all sightings of baby shark babies in the future.RNLI spokeswoman Laura Fauci said it was “extremely unusual” for sharks to be in the area at the moment, as it was very rare for the shark population to be under threat.
She said: “The UK’s population of baby-sawed sharks has fallen sharply in recent years and the number of adult sharks in the wild is rapidly declining.”
We’re also concerned about the possible rise in the number and types of baby bites we see in our wild populations.
“As a result, the RNLI is monitoring the impact of the recent increase in shark attacks in the waters off our coasts.”
The RSLI has been working closely with the RNLIs shark research centre in Walsall, to develop a plan to control the populations of baby and adult sharks.
The organisation’s shark research director, Joanne Burden, said: “[We are] working closely and regularly with the Royal Institution of Great Britain to establish an effective strategy to protect the survival and reproduction of our species.”
The RNLI shark research team will monitor the numbers of shark bites and the impact on baby sharks to see how the strategy can be implemented and if it is working.
“If we are successful in reducing the numbers, then the RNLM will work closely with UK Government authorities to monitor and control the shark populations in our waters.”
The RNLI’s Dr Stephen Smith said that the RNLP was “in contact with the UK Government to ensure that any new shark measures are implemented”.
“This includes the possibility of more intensive surveillance and the establishment of the UK Shark Watch, an independent monitoring organisation to help monitor the threat to baby sharks,” he said.
The RNLP said it expected to issue a public warning about shark attacks and the potential impact on sharks in its waters in the coming days.
The UK is a country of more than 20 million people, but about 30 per cent of its population is estimated to be shark-related.
The latest estimates suggest there are around 500 baby sharks per square mile in the North Sea, including the Canary Islands, North Sea islands and Isle of Man.
A total of 434 babies were killed in 2014 by shark attacks, according the RSPC.