No, there is no danger for bathers on the coast. Not even after shrimp fishermen in Koksijde found a spotted smooth shark in their nets. “They may look like Jaws, but in miniature, fortunately they are not dangerous”, marine biologist Francis Kerckhof reassures everyone.
About twenty shark species occur in the North Sea, but they rarely come so close to the high tide line. It is therefore exceptional that shrimp fishermen have now caught one so close to the beach.
“It is a species that anglers like to fish for. But then a little deeper into the sea,” says Kerckhof. That they come so close to the shore is exceptional and biologists do not immediately have an explanation as to why the animal went into shallow water. (Read more below the photo)
They pose no danger to swimmers. They may look like a little Jaws, but luckily they aren’t that bloodthirsty. “The spotted smoothhound has teeth, but is completely harmless. Unless you want to catch it with your bare hand,” says Jan Seys of the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ).
The animal can be recognized by the dots on the back and mainly feeds on crabs and shrimps. The shark grows to a maximum size of 1 to 1.30 m and according to experts, it is also delicious to eat.
“Provided that it is kept in good conditions. Otherwise, it will quickly taste and smell like ammonia,” warns Kerckhof.