A father and son have caught what is thought to be one of the biggest ever blue sharks in British waters.
Harry Pardoe was fishing off the coast of Falmouth, Cornwall, with dad Mike when the enormous specimen took his mackerel bait.
The 30-year-old spent 90 minutes fighting to bring the 9ft-long shark to the surface before heaving it onto the deck of their charter boat.
Using a tried-and-tested method of measuring the shark’s length and girth, they were able to calculate its weight at 251lbs.
That is 33lbs more than the existing blue shark record that has stood since 1959.
But Harry and Mike will not be able to claim it.
Under the current rules, any specimen must be brought back to land and weighed – resulting in the death of the creature.
As Harry and Mike returned the beast to the water they are unable to make an official application to the Angling Trust.
Mike, 60, said it was ‘disappointing’ but neither he nor Harry were ever going to kill the shark.
The pair were out on the Anglo Dawn charter boat skippered by Andy Howell from Falmouth to celebrate Harry’s birthday when they made the spectacular catch 20 miles out to sea.
On the same trip Mike also secured another huge blue shark, which weighed 180lbs.
Mike, from Birmingham, said: “We weren’t specifically fishing for sharks. I didn’t even know there were sharks of that size in that area so it was amazing to get two huge ones in the same day.
“When it first bit, Harry said straight away it was a big one and it took about an hour-and-a-half to get it on board
“Once it was on the boat it was a case of measuring it with a tape measure then trying to calculate the weight before putting it back.”
He added: “The ruling states that to be a record sadly you have to kill the shark and bring it back to be weighed.
“For any fish-loving anglers like ourselves that’s always going to be a no-no. I suppose it is slightly disappointing.”
Blue sharks can grow to 13ft and 400lbs and are found in oceans across the world, especially the Atlantic but they do venture into British waters during the summer months.
The are thought to rarely attack humans and are registered as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.