The world’s deadliest sharks could head to the UK "sooner or later" due to global warming, an expert has warned.
Despite a number of suspected sightings over the years, there has never been confirmation of a great white in UK waters – where species tend to be those that aren’t dangerous to humans, such as basking sharks.
However, shark expert Ryan Johnston believes this could soon change as the effects of global warming continue to disrupt eco-systems.
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He said on National Geographic’s SharkFest: “I would urge every British shark fan to keep their eyes peeled, because sooner or later they are going to see a great white in British waters.
“The theory that a lot of people are working with is that, as climate change comes, warmer waters are going to reach up into the UK."
He added: “Because there is a great white population in the Mediterranean and around Spain, that population will be able to extend up to English waters.
“How quickly that will happen we don’t know, but throughout the world, we have started to see distribution changes in many shark species.”
The great white shark carries out the most attacks on humans than any other shark, with 11 deaths and 73 unprovoked attacks recorded in 2021.
But Johnston reassured the general public that most species of sharks in our waters are completely harmless.
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He continued: “The basking shark and the porbeagle are entirely harmless.
“The basking shark feeds on tiny little things that are a centimetre long. The porbeagle is often mistaken for a baby great white as they are closely related.
“The great white also shares the porbeagle’s ability to elevate their body temperature, which allows them to go into cold water.
“But the great white isn’t as advanced, so it’s difficult for them to really extend into British waters, for now. That will change as the seas get warmer – and we might not have to wait too long.”
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