A new breed of sharks could be coming to British waters as seas warm up around the island nation because of climate change in the next three decades, a new study suggested, but their numbers probably will be kept in check by plastics pollution.
The ground-breaking research by Dr Ken Collins, former administrator of the UK Shark Tagging Programme and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, was commissioned by Nat Geo WILD to celebrate Sharkfest, a week of shark programming on this week.
Up to ten shark species, including the blacktip and the sand tiger, now found in warmer climes such as the Mediterranean and the coast of Africa are likely to be attracted further north as global warming leads to higher sea temperatures.
Up to ten new species of shark are likely to be swimming in United Kingdom waters by 2050 as rising ocean temperatures allow southern species to venture north for the first time, according to scientists.
"These include the likes of Blacktips, Sand tigers and Hammerheads, which are now found swimming off the coasts of Spain and Portugal".
THE Isle of Wight has been named fourth in Britain's top ten shark spotting locations.
It names Cornwall as the country's shark capital with at least 20 species found off the coast, followed by the Scilly Isles and Devon.
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"It's really important we work to prevent a premature extinction of these wonderful creatures".
The most notorious of all Selachimorpha (shark) species, the great white, could also find its global range affected by climate change, but Dr Collins says its future is less certain.
He said: "I see no reason why not - they live in colder waters off South Africa and have a favourite food source, seals, along the Cornish coast".
Unsafe sharks including great whites and oceanic white-tips could be swimming off the beaches of Cornwall within the next 30 years, according to experts.
A Nat Geo WILD spokesperson commented: "Nat Geo WILD loves sharks".
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".
And the most feared species could already be here. For 30 years the British will be able to see sand sharks, giant hammerhead sharks, shark house and a few types of these formidable inhabitants of the sea.