Apologies for the delay in updating the page but I’ve been waist deep in research thesis write up and it’s hard to find the time to write up the articles I take interest in.
On Wednesday the 20th of June 2012, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust in Gansbaai, South Africa, were alerted to a large male white shark that had been washed up on Dyer Island. This interesting video documents how the group obtained the carcass from the beach. The trip was filled with complications due to severe weather and the actual logistics of retrieving such a huge animal.
The group used a new inflatable cradle that would typically be used to re-float beached animals such as cetaceans and seals. The cradle is not to dissimilar to the rafts adopted by the British Divers Marine Life Rescue charity in the UK. I know how hard it is to get a small 2m dolphin into one of those things, I can’t image how hard it was to get a 4m white shark into one!!
The white shark was collected by the Department of Environmental Affairs who will freeze and then perform an autopsy on the animal to determine the cause of death. The shark appeared in good condition despite the damage caused by the abrasive jagged shore. It will be interesting to see the results of the autopsy and maybe uncover more detail on how natural deaths in white sharks may occur. Alternatively it may uncover evidence of an anthropogenic induced death, which can then be addressed and investigated accordingly. The washing up of white sharks in this area is rare and the team have a great opportunity on their hands.
Source: Dyer Island Conservation Trust