Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Most Dangerous Fish in British Waters!

What is the most dangerous fish in British waters?

In freshwater the pike is renowned for taking ducklings, but doesn't pose any threat to man. Catfish on the continent have been known to occasionally drag a man down to his death, but our catfish are relatively small and no such instances have occurred here.

Britain has a surprising variety of shark species, most are small like the welsh tiger shark (a.k.a the lesser spotted dogfish).
Mako, porbeagle, thresher and blue shark have been caught in the hundreds of pounds, but no man eaters have been recorded here. Despite sightings of supposed great white sharks being reported, not one has turned up to fisherman, and surfers remain unmolested. Stingrays are present in our waters but encounters with humans are rare, even abroad Steve Irwin's tragic death is an isolated freak incident.

After yesterdays warm up on Trefor pier I was ready to face danger. In fact the most dangerous fish in our waters is the lesser weever fish. True at six inches long it doesn't look scary, and is quite pretty in it's own right, but the dorsal fin contains a particularly nasty venom.

Each year hundreds of people accidently stand on the lesser weever, which has a nasty habit of lying in shallow water covered by sand apart from its top facing eyes and spiky dorsal. Anglers also get spiked.
There is no anti venom, at best you can expect an hour of agony, only mitigated by immersing the affected part of your body in the hottest water you can stand. Those sensitive to venom are in real trouble and unless immediate medical attention is sought could suffer paralysis or even death.

After being soaked yesterday I fished at Barmouth where I was sandblasted for much of the day. Who needs an exfoliation beauty therapy? The third mark I tried finally saw me land a lesser weever on a small strip of mackerel. As you can see I survived to tell the tale!