The Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) is calling on those individuals who removed the head of a dead white shark that washed up in Die Dam near Gansbaai on Sunday, June 27, to return it immediately.
As reported, the juvenile shark was recovered by anglers who found it washed up onshore. According to a statement by DICT, the shark’s carcass looked identical to other orca predated sharks found in South Africa including multiple white sharks in Gansbaai.
The animal was then reported to Stephan Swanson and Dr Alison Kock (SANParks) and collected locally by shark biologist Alison Towner and Altus De Witt.
“Head and jaws had been freshly cut off while it was on the beach, as evidenced by clean knife marks to the head. The acoustic tag had also been removed – only the tag’s steel trace near the dorsal fin base remained and had been cut symmetrically with a side cutter,” the statement said.
DICT said the 3.0m female shark’s body cavity was torn open, the heart and larger liver were completely missing as this predation injury looked a few days old but couldn’t have been older than a week.
The shark was tagged externally with an acoustic transmitter, in Struisbaai on Sunday, June 20. Meanwhile, this is not the first white shark carcass that the DICT team have collected with the head or jaws removed.
Shark biologist, Alison Towner indicated that this is the first time an acoustic tagged white shark has washed up with the transmitter cut off, however, the tag cannot be used for anything other than marine research.
The possession of a white shark jaw is highly illegal and carries serious consequences and could lead to a prison sentence. DICT also urged those responsible for taking the head to anonymously return it at the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, 5 Geelbek Street, Kleinbaai or call 0829075607.