The angel shark once was prominent all over the bays of Europe, from Norway to the Canary Islands, but due to overfishing in the 60’s and 70’s and then being unintentional victims of commercial fishing fleets on open seas, their numbers have dwindled and they’ve become critically endangered, their European populations reduced to a few bays in Ireland and Wales.

“I am not a scientist so I first thought it was a ray,” O’Loan told The Irish Times. The group filmed the creature from above and underwater, providing footage that the Marine Institute, located a few hundred metres away, commented on, saying “many people have been searching for a long time for such good footage.”

O’Loan said his kayaking group was very excited about the sighting, describing the event as “class.”