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57 dead sharks found on an Alabama Beach

Dozens of dead sharks were found on a beach near Mobile Bay on July 9. The sharks, along with other marine life, were caught in a gill net.

Photo: Sabrina Rios
Photo: Sabrina Rios

The beach where the sharks were found is near the Dauphin Island Parkway at Belle Air Boulevard.

“From what we could see, somebody had set a recreational gill net on the beach and the sharks were just swimming into the net and got tangled.  If sharks aren’t moving through the water, they die,” Chris Blankenship, director of Alabama Marine Resources, told WSFA-TV.

Dauphin Island Sea Lab was called to the scene and recovered a total of 57 bull pup sharklings from the beach. Shark experts from the lab plan to return to the site July 12

Sabrina Rios, who was visiting the area, said the sharks “were all about two to three feet, and they were just all piled on the beach here. It looks like they tried to take them out of the net and left a pile on the beach. Then they just kind of gave up and left a ton of them inside the net itself.”

Gill nets are supposed to be monitored while in use and require a special license to use.  Pieces of the net left at the scene were collected for identification, but that may not be of much help.

“There were no markings on this piece of gill net that was there on the beach, so it’s difficult to say whether the person that put it out had a license and if they were netting legally or not,” Blankenship said.

Blankenship recommends anyone who sees anything out of the ordinary or a gill net unattended call (251)476-1256 for the Marine Resources 24-hour hotline.

Related: Unintended netting leaves dead sharks on the beach

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