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Saturday, 28 July 2007

Great White Shark seen off St Ives?

You might want to stick to the swimming pool: a tourist has filmed what experts said could well be a Great White shark 200 yards (182 metres) from a beach off England's south-west coast.

In a front page story Saturday headlined "Great White Shark Off UK", holidaymaker Nick Fletcher told The Sun tabloid how he saw "the 12 foot maneater" while he was videoing dolphins near the town of St Ives in Cornwall.

After seeing the footage of it following the dolphins and crashing out of the water, Richard Peirce, chairman of the Shark Trust, said: "It clearly has a white belly like a Great White.

"And something about the way it breaches -- twisting as it leaps out of the water -- also suggests it is. I'm very excited at the prospect."

Oliver Crimmen, fish curator at London's Natural History Museum, added: "It's definitely predatory and definitely big. I can't rule out a Great White."

Although harmless giant Basking Sharks have been spotted off Britain's coast, Great White sharks -- which can reach up to 20 feet long and weigh 5,000 pounds (2,250 kilogrammes) -- are not native to the country's cool waters.

But marine experts have said the world's largest predatory fish could be seen more often off Britain because of global warming and a rise in sea temperatures.

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