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Dublin: 1 °C Monday 18 November, 2019
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Warming seas mean 10 new species of shark could soon roam in Irish waters

The great hammerhead is one of the sharks that could soon be spotted off the Irish coast.

Image: Shutterstock/Tomas Kotouc

A RANGE OF new types of sharks could soon be heading for Irish waters because of warming seas.

New research has forecast that 10 species of sharks, including great hammerheads and longfin makos, that are currently found in warmer parts of the world could be swimming off the coast of Ireland and Britain within 30 years.

Dr Ken Collins, from the University of Southampton, said: “It’s likely we will be seeing more sharks spread from warmer regions such as the Mediterranean Sea towards our waters over the next 30 years.

These include the likes of blacktips, sand tigers and hammerheads, which are currently found swimming off the coasts of Spain and Portugal.

Dr Collins added that while new species of shark may he heading this way the overall number of sharks, particularly larger ones such as basking sharks, will fall as a result of over-fishing, plastic waste and climate change.

“It’s really important we work together to prevent a premature extinction of these wonderful creatures,” he added.

The research was commissioned to mark Nat Geo WILD’s week-long “Sharkfest” of TV programming this week.

A spokesman for Nat Geo WILD said sharks had been portrayed for too long in a one-dimensional way, as terrifying predators, and Sharkfest aimed to reveal the “true awe-inspiring nature of sharks”.

The 10 new species of shark that could inhabit Irish waters by 2050 are:

  • Great hammerhead
  • Blacktip shark
  • Sand tiger or spotted raggedtooth shark
  • Bigeye thresher
  • Longfin mako
  • Bronze whaler or copper shark
  • Oceanic whitetip shark
  • Silky shark
  • Dusky shark
  • Goblin shark

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Ceimin Burke

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