Blue shark found in Western Isles

The body of a blue shark has been found washed up on a Western Isles’ beach.

RSPB Scotland conservation officer Martin Scott discovered the pregnant 1.8m (6ft) female blue shark at Barvas on the west side of Lewis.

The find comes just over a week before the Shark Conservation Society begins survey work off the Hebrides.

Blue sharks are believed to be the most heavily fished shark and its fins are sought after as food in Asia, according to the Shark Trust.

Mr Scott said the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth hoped to carry out tests on the Barvas shark.

Gulf Stream

The 41-year-old said: “I was walking along the beach when I noticed something in the seaweed. At first I thought it was a dead seal.

“It was only when I got close to it and kicked off the seaweed I saw it was a 6ft-long shark with big teeth.”

Mr Scott added: “I’m more used to coming across birds than sharks.”

The Shark Conservation Society will be searching for all types of sharks – including great whites – off the Hebrides from 16 September to 1 October.

According to the Shark Trust, the blue shark is a wide-ranging species that can be found off Norway and South Africa.

It said scientists had recorded sharks tagged off the east coast of the USA as they followed the Gulf Stream to Europe.