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Dublin: 21 °C Wednesday 12 August, 2020

A complete list of the sharks in Irish waters has just been published

The leafscale gulper and the Portuguese dogfish are but two of 71.

The basking shark is common in Irish waters.
The basking shark is common in Irish waters.
Image: Shutterstock

MARINE BIOLOGISTS HAVE put together a comprehensive list of all of the sharks present in Irish waters and have looked at how many are endangered.

The new New Red List of Cartilaginous Fish says that Irish waters contain 71 species of shark, about half of the number that live in European waters. This includes a broad range of sharks, skates, rays and rabbitfish.

Of the 71 different species occurring in Irish waters, there was sufficient data to assess the numbers of 58 of them.

Of the 58 species, six  were assessed as ‘critically endangered’. They are:

The Portuguese dogfish, the common skate, the flapper skate, the porbeagle shark, the white skate and the angel shark.

A further five species were assessed as ‘endangered’. They are:

The leafscale gulper shark, the basking shark, the common stingray, the undulate skate and the spurdog.

The main human impacts on the threatened species are over-exploitation by commercial fisheries and habitat destruction and disturbance.

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The report also finds that recreational angling is a potential threat to cartilaginous fish. but that in Irish waters angling for these species is almost exclusively on a catch-and-release basis.

The assessment was carried out by an all-Ireland team from academic and governmental teams both north and south.

Complete details of the sharks and where they are most common in Irish waters can now be found on the National Parks and Wildlife Service’s website.

Read: Man left in freezing shark infested water for six hours after being dragged out of boat by fish >

Read: Man who was in metal cage that shark broke into still thinks they’re ‘beautiful and cute’ >

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Rónán Duffy

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