A huge 23-stone shark was caught off the Welsh coast on Tuesday.
Angler Matthew Burrett caught the monster porbeagle shark while fishing off the coast of Milford Haven .
Weighing in at 324lb and reaching a length of up to eight foot, it’s believed to be one of the biggest of its kind ever caught in Welsh waters.
The porbeagle is a species of mackerel shark, distributed widely in the cold and temperate marine waters of the North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere.
They are often spotted around the UK in warm summer months.
Powerful and squat-bodied, porbeagle’s are a member of the Lamnidae shark family – which is the same family as the Great White.
Mr Burrett reeled in the monster during a sharking trip with Cardiff-based Phat Cat Charters.
Skipper Craig Deans – who has more than 15 years of experience on the water – said: “I’ve been told it could be the biggest caught in Welsh waters but that hasn’t been officially confirmed yet.
“I’ve never seen anything that big before, although I’m sure there are bigger fish out there. When I saw the size of it, I was pretty shocked. We didn’t really see how big it was until it was brought up alongside the boat.”
Strange things that have been spotted on the Welsh coastline
A man spotted thousands of dead starfish when he was walking along the waterfront in 2015.
An expert said later that this event was not a natural disaster, but just the creatures coming to the end of their life cycle after mating and spawning. He said they had most likely been dead in the sea for a long time.
Back in May coastguards were called after a dead Minke whale was discovered washed up on a Gower beach.
It was a minke whale which is one of the smallest of the baleen whales found in UK waters and measures between seven to 10 metres when fully grown.
A 15ft Minke whale also washed up on the sands at Ynyslas, near Aberystwyth, on Christmas Day in 2015.
In July, hordes of giant jellyfish washed up on beaches across west Wales.
A number of the creatures – believed to be Barrel jellyfish – were spotted in areas including Tenby, Saundersfoot, Newport, Cardigan, Castlemartin, Lydstep and Kidwelly.
In October, more than 20 octopuses were spotted making their way up the beach in New Quay, Ceredigion, in a mysterious phenomenon which left staff from a local dolphin watching company completely baffled.
The creatures – who can’t survive on dry land for long – were seen three nights in a row crawling along the sand.
The mysterious creature on a Swansea beach
She was walking with her dogs when she came across the decomposed creature, with a long tail and a large head, which she estimated to be around a metre long in size.
Some people thought it could have been a crocodile, while experts said it could be a whale or dolphin.
Craig went on: “At one point it even jumped out of the water – like when you see Great Whites jumping out and attacking a seal.
“We tried for a while to get it onto the boat, but we weren’t able to – even though we’ve got all the right equipment and a purpose-built boat.
“Luckily, there was a big swell and that washed the fish onto the boat.”
Phat Cat Charters operate a strict catch and release policy when shark fishing and use barb-free hooks and a special hook extraction tool to try to ensure the pain-free release of the shark.
Fishing journalist Dave Barham , who posted a picture of the shark to Facebook, said: “For anyone concerned, these sharks are extremely well looked after.
“The boats that fish for them are purpose-built to make it easy to bring them on board, measure, tag and release them.
“It all happens very quickly and every shark is released alive.”
Skipper Craig and his crew are no strangers to catching large fish.
They also made headlines in 2015 after someone on board reeled in a 19-stone thresher shark , believed to be only the second of its kind ever caught off Wales.
The first was caught three days earlier, 18 pounds lighter, by fisherman Andy Turrell on the Lady Jue 3 with the help of skipper Rob Rennie, also off the coast of Milford Haven.
Thresher sharks are found in all temperate and tropical oceans of the world and are usually solitary creatures who keep themselves to themselves and can be seen jumping out of the water like a dolphin.