A shark which mysteriously washed up dead on a Hauraki Beach has been identified by a marine expert as a mako shark.
The Department of Conservation's marine technical advisor Clinton Duffy says it's unclear exactly what caused the animal to wash up dead on Waihi Beach.
He says it's possible the shark had something wrong with it, such as a disease or it may have been caught by fishermen.
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"It may have been released by a fishing boat and was unable to recover," he told Newshub on Monday afternoon.
In the northeast pacific bacterial infections have caused mass mortalities in sharks from the mako family, but little is known about which marine pathogens are present in New Zealand waters.
"We certainly haven't had any mass mortality events like those documented in the US," said Duffy.
A picture of the magnificent shark was posted to Twitter on Monday morning. In the image, the shark lies on its side in the shallows of Waihi Beach, silhouetted against the sunrise.
Its mouth is ajar showing its razor sharp teeth.
Mako sharks are pelagic, which means they usually live in the open ocean.
However, juveniles of the species have been sighted in as little as seven metres of water.
"[Mako sharks] are usually found in open, offshore areas. Adults and juveniles are present all year round, juveniles are usually found closer to share than adults," said Duffy.
"They're primarily predators of fast swimming surface fish like kahawai, tunas, marlins and swordfish."