‘Shock’ as 23-stone porbeagle shark caught off Welsh coast

The captain of a charter boat says he was “shocked” after a 23-stone porbeagle shark was caught and then washed onto his vessel.

It was believed to be one of the biggest of its kind caught off Welsh waters.

Angler Matthew Burrett reeled in the 324lb fish, which was around 8ft-long, during a trip off the coast of Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire.

Skipper Craig Deans told Wales Online: “I’ve never seen anything that big before, although I’m sure there are bigger fish out there.

“When I saw the size of it, I was pretty shocked. We didn’t really see how big it was until it was brought up alongside the boat.”

He said the group struggled to get the creature onto the boat.

Matthew Burrett and the shark
The shark is believed to be one of the biggest of its kind caught off Welsh waters. Pic: Craig Deans/Phat Cat Charters

He said: “At one point it even jumped out of the water – like when you see Great Whites jumping out and attacking a seal.

“We tried for a while to get it onto the boat, but we weren’t able to – even though we’ve got all the right equipment and a purpose-built boat.

“Luckily, there was a big swell and that washed the fish onto the boat.”

The charter company has a strict catch and release policy where they use barb-free hooks and a special hook extraction tool to try to ensure the pain-free release of the shark.

Mr Deans said on Facebook: “For anyone concerned, these sharks are extremely well looked after.

“The boats that fish for them are purpose-built to make it easy to bring them on board, measure, tag and release them.

“It all happens very quickly and every shark is released alive.”

Porbeagles are powerful, squat-bodied sharks which can be found all around the British Isles in the warm summer months.

They are a member of the Lamnidae shark family – which is the same family as the Great White.

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