Sharks in UK Waters

A surprising diversity of shark, skate and ray species is present in UK waters, with around 50 species recorded. Some, such as deepsea sharks and skates, are more regularly seen by researchers and commercial fishermen. Others, such as the Common Eagle Ray (Myliobatis Aquila) and the Smooth Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna zygaena), are incredibly rare visitors which are occasionally caught or washed up.

Population structures, abundance, distribution and movements of all sharks, skates and rays are often poorly understood and angling records are one of the best sources of information available. Some 20 species are regularly encountered by anglers, with a small number of rarer species also occasionally caught such as the Common Stingray (Dasyatis pastinaca) and the Marbled Torpedo Ray (Torpedo marmorata). 

To download Shark Trust ID Guides for the most commonly caught sharks, skates and rays in the UK visit the links below. The ID Guides provide helpful tips for identification, as well as information on biology, habitat and conservation status.

Download Shark ID Guides

Download Skate and Ray ID Guides