Dorset Dorsals

16th June 2016 | by

Sharks in Dorset UK?! Yep, it's not a misinformed Daily Mail headline about a great white - Dorset has sharks! And that's a wonderful thing.

Dorset Dorsals

The UK is home to over 30 species of shark, all of which can be found, complete with brilliant free ID guides, on the Shark Trusts’s website.

We are very privileged to have our Head Quarters in Dorset, UK, where we have a stunning and vibrant stretch of coast that is home to several beautiful shark species. Many people are shocked that we have sharks here, and the majority do not know that some of these species are at risk of extinction. We have a tendency to think that sharks only live in blue, tropical seas and that our wildlife is relatively safe – sadly this is not so.

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Gorgeous spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias), photo by Andy Murch.


“To put this into context, this is a worse listing than either pandas, polar bears or great white sharks.”

Here are just a few examples. The spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) Northeast Atlantic population is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Redlist of threatened species. Yes, dogfish are sharks!! Our waters are also graced by porbeagles, (Lamna nasus) a relative of the great white shark that is Critically Endangered in Europe. Critically Endangered. Angel sharks (Squatina squatina) used to be common catches off the British coast, but guess what? Yep, Critically Endangered, across their entire range. To put this into context, this is a worse listing than either pandas, polar bears or great white sharks.

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Common Angel Shark (Squatina squatina), now restricted almost entirely to the Canary Islands.

One of SharkStuff’s major objectives is to raise awareness of UK sharks, particularly our local sharks in Dorset. We are in the planning and preparation stages of some educational projects and shark research in Dorset which we will be excited to share with you.

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