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Marine experts help North Sea filming

PUBLISHED: 16:25 22 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:04 05 July 2010

MARINE experts from Lowestoft have been helping filmmakers study the behaviour of small sharks off the coast of East Anglia.

Scientists from the Centre for Marine, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) based in Pakefield, near Lowestoft, met filmmakers from Brussels earlier this month to help with a film about the sharks and rays which live in the North Sea.

MARINE experts from Lowestoft have been helping filmmakers study the behaviour of small sharks off the coast of East Anglia.

Scientists from the Centre for Marine, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) based in Pakefield, near Lowestoft, met filmmakers from Brussels earlier this month to help with a film about the sharks and rays which live in the North Sea.

The documentary is being made for the European Commission ahead of new legislation which is due to be passed next month about the fishing of shark species, particularly spurdogs, which are also known as spiny or piked dogfish.

Spurdogs, which often grow up to 130cm in length, are sought primarily for their meat but overfishing, particularly of pregnant females, landed them on a list of threatened fish species in 2006.

A spokesman for Cefas said: “About two years ago we did a similar film about fish discards when new laws were being passed to look at both sides of the issue.

“The filmmakers recently came back to us and said that the European Commission was putting together legislation about sharks. They wanted to come to Lowestoft to try to do some fishing with local crews.”

Chris Wightman, who fishes off the Suffolk coast, took the filmmakers out on his boat last week. He said: “As the weather was so bad on the day of filming, we only caught cod inshore - the sharks and rays are further out to sea at this time of year and bad weather stopped us going out too far. However, it should still be an interesting film.”

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