Marine Biologist Dr. Stephen Kajiura says he’s seeing more sharks wash ashore this year than any in the last 13 years he’s been teaching at Florida Atlantic University.
A 6-inch hook is what he and his team found lodged in the shark.
“This is a big hook,” Dr. Kajiura said.
He said there’s no doubt fisherman targeted the more than 250 pound shark. “This shark was basically just fought to fatigue and probably suffocated, so as a result of fighting on the line for a couple of hours to reel in a big tiger shark like that,” explained Dr. Kajiura.
Turns out, the shark was one of four that washed ashore that day from Jensen to Juno Beach, including a decomposed one.
“We need to do as much as we can to conserve these populations,” said Dr. Kajiura.
Dr. Kajiura worries the shark population is at risk. His team also responded to a 450 pound hammerhead shark dead on Delray Beach last month. She was pregnant with 33 pups.
“Not only did mom die, it's not one shark that died, it's sharks that died and I think that's the real tragedy here,” said Dr. Kajiura.
This is also a reminder to catch and release as quickly as possible. A general rule is to have the animal out the water as long as you can hold your breath. That’s less than a minute
And if you’re wondering where those dead sharks go after biologists examine them, it’s to the landfill.