Marine biologists from the Dyer Island Conservation Trust say the eight bronze whaler sharks that washed up on a Gansbaai beach in the Overberg last week, died as a result of being caught in fishing nets.

They say when their team arrived at the beach, they only found three carcasses as the others were already removed, probably to be sold.

Marine Biologist Alison Towner says, “At the time there were 30 boats from the west coast and the Gansbaai boats and they were catching fish in the area. Unfortunately sometimes these bronzies get snagged in the nets and drown and then are utilised by the local fishermen as there is a market for their fins and meat.”

Towner says, “This species of shark has actually become way more alive than dead. They are listed as vulnerable and we would like to see more government measures to protect this animal better within SA waters.”