The types of sharks you can find in UK waters - full list and how dangerous they are

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Here are the different species of sharks that can be found in UK waters.

Shark sightings are on the rise in the UK after a porbeagle shark was spotted in the waters of Plymouth’s Mayflower Marina.

That, partnered with the fact basking sharks have been located in Torquay and Kent, has raised the question of how many sharks the UK has.

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Currently, there are over 400 known species of shark across the world, and it is believed that more than 40 of those enter UK waters.

However, Sharks Trust believe that only 21 can be found nearby all year round.

Here is everything you need to know, such as a full list of all the types of sharks in the UK and how dangerous they are.

What are the most common sharks spotted in UK waters?

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  • Basking Shark

It measures at a length of up to 12 metres and is the second biggest shark in UK waters. They are gentle animals that dine on plankton, and the best time to spot them in the UK is between May and October.

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  • Porbeagle

It is the most common shark that is spotted in the UK, feeds on small fish and there are cases of one killing a human.

  • Dogfish

One of the most common species found in UK waters, it feasts on anything from prawns to small fish and is found in southern and western waters.

  • Spurdog

One of the few venomous fish found in UK waters, its venom causes extreme discomfort and swelling and they are always found near the seabed.

  • Shortfin mako

It is the fastest shark in the sea as it can reach near 50mph speeds. It is an apex predator that eats tuna and swordfish.

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  • Tope

Six-foot-long in size, the Tope is known for being aggressive and powerful.

  • Smooth-hound 

It is found in waters off the coast of South and West England and they are known as gummy sharks and are not scary.

Full list of all types of shark that pass through UK waters

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  • Porbeagle Shark
  • Smallspotted Catsharks
  • Nursehounds
  • White Shark
  • Portuguese Dogfish
  • Black Dogfish
  • Birdbeak Dogfish
  • Rough Longnose Dogfish
  • Sailfin Roughshark
  • Angular Roughshark
  • Longnose Velvet Dogfish
  • Knifetooth Shark
  • Kitefin Shark
  • Gulper Shark
  • Spurdog
  • Leafscale Gulper Shark
  • Basking sharks
  • Blue Shark
  • Shortfin Mako Shark
  • Smooth Hammerhead
  • Frilled Shark
  • Thresher Shark
  • Bigeye Thresher Shark
  • Oceanic Whitetip Shark
  • Common skate, blue skate
  • White Ghost Catshark
  • Mouse Catshark
  • Bramble Shark
  • Velvet Belly Lantern Shark
  • Tope Shark
  • Blackmouth Catshark, Blackmouth Dogfish
  • Smalleye Catshark
  • Iceland Shark
  • Nurse Shark
  • Sharpnose Sevengill Shark
  • Bluntnose Sixgill Shark
  • Starry smoothhound
  • Small-spotted Catshark
  • Greenland Shark
  • Spiny Dogfish
  • Angel Shark
  • Smalltooth Sandtiger
  • Tiger Shark
  • Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

For more information about each species, please visit the Shark Trust website.

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