IT MIGHT not be Jaws but a gruesome find on a Hampshire beach has made one woman think twice about whether it’s safe to go back into the water.
Beverley Jury noticed something was wrong when her dog Tanya, who was playing in the waves at Western Shore, suddenly dashed inland.
The dog had found the bloody remains of a small shark.
Beverley, of Flamborough Close, Millbrook, then took to social media to warn others, posting pictures of the find on Facebook.
“I wanted to bring this to more people’s attention in case there were more in the water that could potentially harm children or dogs,” she said.
The Daily Echo contacted Dr. Ken Collins, a senior research fellow in Oceanography and Earth Sciences at the University of Southampton, who identified the shark as a smooth-hound, a common shark in waters off the south coast, which can grow up to three feet (1m) long, and has bony plates instead of teeth.
While smooth-hounds are not rare, it is unusual to find one washed up on the beach.
John Richardson, from marine conservation charity The Shark’s Trust, said: “I can only speculate on cause of death. However, your witness report suggests the shark was either caught by an angler – while they’re generally released, some may not survive the process and wash up dead later on – or caught and discarded by a commercial vessel.”
Mr Richardson stressed that any sighting of a shark – alive or dead – can provide useful information for researchers and conservationists, and would encourage members of the public to photograph any shark, skate and ray sightings and send them to the Shark Trust’s database at sharktrust.org/sightings.
If a member of the public comes across a deceased turtle, whale, dolphin, porpoise or basking shark they should report it to the UK Cetaceans Investigation Programme on 0800 652 0333.