Diver films extremely rare shark for the first time ever in UK waters

Incredibly rare footage has captured an elusive shark lurking off the UK coastline for the first time.

Diver Jake Davies was swimming in North Cardigan Bay off the coast of Wales when he came across the critically endangered angel shark.

Although known to occupy UK waters, angel sharks have never before been filmed in off the coast and, because it is a juvenile, researchers are now convinced the species is actively breeding in the area.

The amazing footage shows the flat, grey creature scanning the ocean floor.

It manages to bury itself into the sand and camouflage its body hide from potential prey.

The shark, which poses no threat to humans, is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species following a decline in their range over the last 50 years.

They are protected in Wales, through inclusion on both the ‘Wildlife and Countryside Act’ and ‘Environment (Wales) Act’, and it is an offence to target or disturb this species.

Jake said: "I’ve always kept an eye out for angel sharks during dives, having worked to better understand the species for the last four years.

"I couldn’t believe it when I saw the angel shark, and what was really exciting was that it was a juvenile, just 30cm in length – providing further evidence that the species is giving birth in this area.

“It was incredible to watch and film it swimming, burying into the sand and then using its camouflage to ambush prey.

"This footage is far beyond what we thought would be possible to capture in Wales.”

Joanna Baker, co-founder of the Angel Shark Project, explained that the size and white markings on the shark’s fin shows that it was born this year which “confirms we have an active breeding population in Wales”.

“This new footage is extremely useful to inform our conservation efforts for this species, especially as Wales hosts one of the last angel shark populations in the northern most part of their range,” she added.

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