Why Are There No (Dangerous) Sharks Around Britain?

Why Are There No (Dangerous) Sharks Around Britain?

Whether it’s the movie Jaws or those spine-chilling TV reports about surfers being taken by sharks, most of us have a deep-seated fear of these fearsome and mysterious animals.

Luckily for us here in the UK, sharks aren’t really something we have to fear. Sure, we do have some sharks in our waters, but none of them pose much of a threat to humans. 

The likes of bull sharks, hammerheads, tiger sharks and the ultimate apex predator, the great white, are rarely if ever spotted on these shores. 

But why is that, and with the impending climate crisis set to change the world as we know it in the coming years and decades, could we eventually see these (occasional) man-eaters in our waters? Let’s find out…

No Man-Eaters

So as mentioned, we do have some sharks in the waters around Britain, but luckily for swimmers and surfers, you won't come across the ones that can cause serious harm to us humans.

The reason for this is quite simple: the waters here aren’t warm enough. These predators would rather avoid colder waters, which is why they don't tend to venture so far north. Additionally, the food sources available to them in our colder waters may not be as enticing for these sharks.

So, in short, there’s no good reason for these sharks to come here, which is why you won;t spot them in our seas.

Climate Change

One of the biggest consequences of climate change is the rising temperatures in our seas which can create a whole host of problems in the sea and on land. So with our oceans getting warmer, does this mean we could see huge great whites or tiger sharks in British waters? Worryingly, the answer is yes!

In the future, the rising sea temperatures may indeed alter where certain sharks like to reside, which could see these huge predators coming to areas commonly thought of as too cold – like the UK!

The ecosystems that exist within our seas are all closely linked to temperature, and as the waters warm, the habitats and migratory patterns of sharks and their prey may change.

However, the likelihood of these sharks inhabiting British waters any time soon remains relatively low. While climate change could bring different shark species here, the majority of these sharks are unlikely to be great white, tigers or bulls, so they shouldn’t pose a significant threat to humans. 

Sharks Around Britain

Despite there being a fortunate lack of man-eaters, that’s not to say our waters are shark-free. Quite the opposite, in fact, as there are over 20 species known to reside in the waters that surround the British Isles.

These include the elusive Greenland shark, which is said to be capable of living for up to 400 years, making it one of the longest-living animals on the planet. If this is true, some of these deep-water sharks may have been lurking around our seas since William Shakespeare was alive!

We also have mako sharks, blue sharks, thresher sharks and basking sharks, which are the largest fish in our waters.

Thankfully, none of these animals are particularly harmful and most of them will be so shy that you’d be lucky to even see them. If you do come across any species of shark while you’re out on the water, appreciate the moment as it’s not something you see every day!

Safety Gear

While there might be no dangerous sharks in the waters around the UK, that’s not to say there are zero risks when partaking in some boating or watersports fun.

If you’re a boater or watersports enthusiast, we have a range of equipment. From boat gear and life jackets to helmets for watersports and other safety equipment needed to enjoy your favourite pastime on the water, we stock the lot.

So if you’re in need of some new equipment then Action Sports International has got you well and truly covered!