DORSET might not be Australia, but that doesn’t mean we’ve not had our fair share of shark encounters.

The first thing that springs to mind when someone usually mentions sharks is the Steven Spielberg epic, Jaws - unfortunately, or not, we don’t usually get great whites in these waters but there are an array shark species hunting off our coast.

With temperatures soaring and more of us exploring our waters this summer, The Daily Echo has taken a look back at local shark encounters from the past.

Huge 21 stone shark caught off Portland

Bournemouth Echo:

The pair of porbeagle sharks - a relative of the deadly Great White - were caught by anglers Adam Carter and Matt Mizen about seven miles off Portland. Images: BNPS

TWO huge sharks weighing more than 500lbs were caught off the south coast, about seven miles off Portland back in 2019.

The pair of porbeagle sharks - a relative of the deadly Great White - were caught by anglers Adam Carter and Matt Mizen.

Adam's catch measured about 8ft long and weighed more than 21 stone while Matt's specimen was thought to weigh more than 14 stone.

Adam, a 41-year-old plasterer from Weymouth, said he was left feeling exhausted following a 1 hour 45 minute fight to reel in his monster shark.

Even after reeling it in, the shark was far too big to lift on board so Adam brought it alongside to photograph and measure it before releasing it safely and well.

Along with blue sharks, porbeagles are the most common species of shark found in British waters.

Thrasher shark near Lyme Bay

Bournemouth Echo:

Picture: TomBrereton/BNPS

A group of tourists were stunned when an enormous thresher shark jumped vertically through the air before slapping its elongated tail on the surface of the sea at Lyme Bay.

Thresher sharks are usually found in the warmer waters of the mid-Atlantic but this 15ft long predator, which weighed about 350lbs, appeared about 30 miles south of Lyme Regis.

The hugely-rare sighting was witnessed by a group of 10 nature lovers on a charter boat looking for dolphins.

An endangered species, thresher sharks are so named because of their exceptionally long, stream-lined tails which whip or stun shoals of fish underwater at a speed of up to 30mph.

They are not normally harmful to humans, although they can cause serious injury with their thrashing tails.

Six huge sharks off Portland

Bournemouth Echo:

HUGE BEAST: The aggressive looking beasts are said to be harmless to humans. Picture: Big Buoy Charters

Anglers captured the the incredible moment they caught six huge sharks off Portland’s coast.

Paul Burridge and Peter Targett, of Big Buoy Charters based in Weymouth and Portland, were out with three customers on a charter fishing trip in October, 2017, when they made the catch.

During nine hours at sea, the group managed to capture six porbeagle sharks in waters south of Portland Bill, with a man on board the boat wrestling with one shark for over half an hour.

Porbeagle sharks, from the same family as great white sharks, can be found around the UK in deep waters.

Despite being described by the Shark Trust as “large, powerful sharks” with “sharp teeth and abrasive skin,” porbeagle sharks are not considered harmful to humans and rarely come to shore.

Shark swimming in Poole Harbour

It wasn’t quite a scene from Jaws. But visitors to Poole Quay this weekend were still shocked to see a member of the shark family swimming in the harbour.

Chas Kirkby, a dockmaster for Cobbs Quay Marina, filmed the smooth-hound shark on his phone when it visited the harbour in 2015.

The small grey-brown smoothhound shark can be identified by its pointed snout and pair of large and equally-sized dorsal fins. It typically has white spots on its back and sides and can grow up to 1.6m long.

Its diet is made up primarily of crustaceans, shellfish and molluscs and it’s more commonly seen in the south and west of England.

Basking shark at Chesil Beach

Bournemouth Echo:

A basking shark spotted at Chesil Beach. Picture: Weymouth Angling Centre

Basking sharks are one of the largest species of fish in the world and back in 2019, one was unusually spotted off the coast of Dorset.

A video captured the moment that the shark made an unusually close approach to the shore at Chesil Beach.

Marc Kativu-Smith, coastal centres manager for the Dorset Wildlife Trust, said at the time: "What an absolute treat to see a large shark like this so close to the shore in Dorset. Looking at the dorsal fin and the way the shark moves, this is most likely a basking shark. This is the second largest fish in the world, and although this one looks smaller, they can grow to 11m in length. There is no need to panic though as they are gentle giants and only feed on plankton.”

Starry Smoothhound in Sandbanks

Bournemouth Echo:

Starry smoothhound spotted at Sandbanks

A mum and her daughter recently spotted a four-foot shark while paddling along the shoreline in Sandbanks at the end of May.

Bournemouth Oceanarium experts, who identified the shark, explained that the paddlers were ‘lucky’ to witness one of the UK’s native sharks up close and personal, as they are usually found in deeper water.

Although the name ‘shark’ may spark alarm bells, the Starry Smoothhound is in fact completely harmless.

Dogfish at Branksome Chine

Bournemouth Echo:

Shark found washed up on the shore at Branksome Chine

Earlier this month a Poole resident found a washed up Dogfish on the beach at Branksome Chine.

Henry Clark came across the metre long beast on his morning sea swim - this wasn’t the first exotic creature he’s come across, last year he also found a washed up stingray.

Spiny dogfish, also known as spurdogs or mud sharks, are one of the common species of shark, found in abundance along northern Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

The spiny dogfish is grey in colour with white spots, and measures about 60 to 120 cm in length.