MEET Whitburn’s very own Jaws.
This 7ft shark shocked Wearside fishermen when it was hauled out of the water.
Expecting to find mackerel and salmon in their nets, the lads instead came face to face with the razor-sharp teeth of this predatory beast.
Thankfully for the crew of the Star Devine it was already dead, meaning they did not have to wrestle the Porbeagle shark back into the sea.
The crew immediately phoned Whitburn fishmonger Robert Latimer and asked if he was interested in snapping up the unusual catch.
IIt took the strength of four men to lift the giant shark off the van when it was delivered to the seafood deli.
Robert said: “This is without a doubt the largest shark we’ve seen, it’s absolutely massive.
“We haven’t managed to weigh it yet as we haven’t been able to find anyone with big enough scales.”
The endangered species - the largest predatory shark on the British coast - is usually found off Cornwall and is a rare sight in colder waters this far north.
It is believed the fish was hunting salmon and sea trout that are currently migrating to their home rivers.
Porbeagle sharks are an endangered species teetering on the brink of being extinct, with catches dramatically declining over the last 40 years.
Robert said: “We are totally against discarding any fish and it would have been immoral to have thrown the dead shark back into the sea.
“This shark was dead when it was hauled on board, or else we would not have taken it as it should have been returned alive to the sea.
“It would have been completely unethical to have killed the shark as they are listed as vulnerable.”
Staff at Latimer’s are now faced with the mammoth task of filleting the fish to sell this weekend.
“We will be selling off shark fillets in the shop counter as soon as we can find a knife big enough,” Robert said.
A Blue Reef Aquarium Tynemouth spokeswoman said: “It is the largest predatory shark to be found in our waters and is most common on the South West coast.
“It looks ferocious with its similar appearance to the great white shark - its relative - but Porbeagles do not attack humans.
“It is among the fastest sharks and can even jump out the water.”