A dead tiger shark found floating near a marina in a rural town with suspicious injuries has sparked warnings about illegal fishing for the animals.
The shark was found in the water near the Princess Royal Sailing Club marina in Albany, on the southern tip of Western Australia, on Saturday morning.
Locals were able to bring the 2.5m-long shark to shore, where it was left for hours before the Albany City Council got rid of it.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) arrived “several hours” after the shark was captured.
While the department determined that the shark showed no signs of having died after being caught illegally, it warned fishermen not to kill sharks.
A 2.5m tiger shark was found dead with a broken jaw (pictured) in the waters near a coastal town’s marina, prompting authorities to warn fishermen about illegal fishing practices.
A DPIRD spokesperson said the shark had been on shore for several hours when they were able to investigate around 12:30pm on Saturday.
“Our examination did not show any obvious signs of fishing line and hook or an obvious cause of death,” the spokesperson said.
‘Although there is no evidence that a fishing crime has been committed, this does not constitute responsible fishing behaviour.
“DPIRD encourages anglers to carefully release all unwanted fish immediately into the water without harm and all retained fish should be sent in a considerate manner.”
An image of the shark appears to show markings on the tail fin and a broken jaw.
Erika Delemarre, a former Albany local and marine conservation and biodiversity expert, said the injuries were consistent with shark fishing.
“Her jaw is clearly broken and there are rope marks on her tail, perhaps where she was hung for photographs,” Ms Delemarre told the Albany Advertiser.
“Clearly someone caught it and threw it back into the water, but the shark was dead when they pulled it out of the water.”
The shark was found floating in the water near Albany, WA (pictured), indicating it was a “recent kill” that had been dumped by a fisherman.
Ms Delemarre said the fact the shark was found floating in the water meant it was most likely a “recent death”.
A tiger shark about the same size as the one found in Albany was seen off the coast of Cozy Corner Beach, about 35 kilometers west, last Tuesday.
Several other shark sightings, including a great white, have been reported to SharkWatch in the weeks following the sighting of a whale carcass near False Island.
A tiger shark is believed to have attacked a woman in her 40s while swimming with sea lions at Jurien Bay beach, north of Perth.