Shark, centuries-old, leaves fisherman 'dumbfounded' off Cornwall

Greenland sharks are extremely rare and can reach 512 years old


A fisherman was left “dumbfounded” after a possibly centuries-old Greenland shark has been recovered from Cornish waters.

Trev Worth and boat skipper Kingsley spotted the rare creature floating in the water while out on a training session.

The sighting is suspected to be the same shark pictured on the shore of Newlyn Harbour after being recovered from the waters by the Mermaid Pleasure Trips crew, based in Penzance.

This is the second recording of a Greenland shark in the UK, according to The Marine Strandings Network (MSN) who said one hasn’t been seen since 2013.

A Greenland Shark
A Greenland Shark
The size of a Greenland shark compared to a human. They can grow up to five metres in length
The size of a Greenland shark compared to a human. They can grow up to five metres in length

A post-mortem examining the shark will determine its age, but the average lifespan of Greenland’s is 390 years, with some reaching 512 years.

The Mermaid Pleasure Trips crew joked that the recovered shark may have been born "around about the time Henry VIII was getting bored of his first wife".

16-year-old Kingsley told the BBC: "We were that shocked that we found it that there was there was this moment of silence on board, surely it's not that Greenland shark."

In identifying the shark Mr Worth said: "It was a process of elimination.

"It's not dolphin. It's not seals. It's got to be the Greenland shark because we knew there was one in the area.

"I was just dumbfounded to be honest.

"You're upset to have found it, but at the same time that hopefully the science community will learn a lot about the shark, its cause of death and we're still waiting to find out how old it is given its size - there's estimations of anywhere between three and five hundred years."