Rare Greenland Shark found washed up in Cornish waters

A Greenland Shark has not been spotted in British waters for nine years. Credit: Mermaid Pleasure Trips Penzance / Mick Dawton

An extremely rare type of shark has been found dead in Cornish waters after a three day search.

The Greenland shark was first spotted stranded off the coast of Penzance on Sunday (13 March).

It was later washed back out to sea, and local marine charities and the members of general public set out to find the rare shark.

It was finally discovered yesterday (15 March) by the crew of a local tourist boat company off Newlyn Harbour beach.

The Mermaid Pleasure Trips crew were carrying out training on a small boat when they spotted the upturned shark - initially thinking it was a dead dolphin.

The crew of the boat managed to tow the shark back to the harbour. Credit: Mermaid Pleasure Trips, Penzance

They managed to tow the shark back to the harbour where it was handed over to the team at Marine Strandings Network to be sent off for a Post Mortem.

A vet pathologist from Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme will lead the post-mortem.

The marine charity had issued an urgent appeal to find the shark after it was first spotted, as the breed is not encountered often, so is rarely studied.

They praised the crew who spotted the shark and brought it back to the harbour, saying: "We are absolutely delighted to update you that the superb crew from Mermaid Pleasure Trips, Penzance Trev and Kingsley, this evening found and brought ashore the dead Greenland shark which previously stranded on Sunday and then washed back out to sea.

"Well done Trev and Kingsley you complete legends!"

The Greenland Shark is usually found in very cold, deep waters so has only been washed up twice before in the UK.

The last time one was spotted off the UK coast was back in 2013.

It is the world's longest living vertebrate, and can live for 400 years so the discovery is exciting for research.

It is an important find for marine biologists who are now waiting to study the post-mortem.