Bronze whaler shark found dead on Auckland beach

A large bronze whaler shark has washed ashore on an Auckland beach, sparking an investigation into its death.

The shark, which measured about three-metres-long and 200kg, was found at North Shore's Stanley Bay on the weekend.

Photos were posted to a Devonport Facebook group showing the large creature stretched out on the beach, with what appear to be small wounds on its sides.

"Sad to see this beautiful creature washed up today at Stanley Bay," one person wrote.

Department of Conservation shark scientist Clinton Duffy says this is a female bronze whaler, and was probably pregnant.

NIWA says the shark is one of the most abundant large shark species in our coastal waters. They are often seen in shallow waters where they lurk around reefs, estuaries, bays, and surf beaches.

"At three-metres long, bronze whaler sharks can get quite large," says NIWA Principal Scientist, Dr Malcolm Francis.

"Sightings increase at this time of the year, partly because more New Zealanders head for the beach in summer, but also because they come into warmer waters to chase fish or give birth to their young."

They're also likely to be encountered by divers. While they are not normally aggressive, they have been known to bite when excited.

The shark has been taken to Massey University for an autopsy, which will help researchers understand more about why its life and why it died.


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