More than a dozen dead sharks seen floating on UK beach and eaten by crabs

More than a dozen dead sharks stunned a beachgoer who spotted them washed up on the shore.

Snorkeller Karen Jones carried a few out of the water and took a photo before returning them to the sea. She says there were many more floating in the shallow water.

At least 14 sharks were lined up lifeless in Hunts Bay, Gower in South Wales in a so far unexplained scene which is both eerie and distressing.

Karen from nearby Swansea said she saw a small boat in the sea which she presumed was looking at lobster pots, but described her next discovery as "awful", WalesOnline reports.

Karen said: "The sharks were lying on the seabed on their backs about a metre apart in a long line. I just brought a few to the surface to photograph them then I put them back. The crabs were starting to feed off them.

"There were probably a lot more, some were really big. It was so awful to see so many beautiful sharks killed."

Karen said, after discovering the sharks, she suspected that the person she saw in the boat may have put out a gillnet, and all the sharks were a bycatch which had then been chucked back into the sea.

A gillnet is a curtain of netting that hangs in the water. The mesh size can be adjusted according to the size of fish the fisherman using it wants to catch.

According to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) website, 'gillnets do carry the risk of bycatch (accidental capture of unwanted species) and interaction with other marine animals.

In order to be MSC certified, gillnet fisheries are often required to make improvements, which include increased monitoring and independent observer coverage. Gear modifications have also been made and some fisheries use ‘pingers’: acoustic alarms attached to nets which deter marine mammals'.

One man commented on Karen's Facebook post, saying he had found 50 dead sharks in the same area.

He said: "I was diving in Hunts Bay yesterday evening and saw this. But I saw well over 50+ dead sharks scattered across the sea bed. Some still with net attached to them. Definitely Gillnet and so sad to see."

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