By Sue Ellen Woodcock
While shark activity is often reported on Cape Cod, a shark was discovered washed up on the shore of the Pines River Friday morning. A crowd began to gather around the 6 1/2 foot specimen.
The shark washed up in the area of Mills Avenue and Archer Avenue around 10:45 a.m.
Assistant Harbormaster John Hurley said there were no visible wounds. He thought it may have suffocated by getting stranded on shore sometime between when it was spotted in the river floating Thursday afternoon and being discovered onshore Friday morning. It was noted that the 200-pound body was in good condition.
It was determined that it was a porbeagle shark, which are common off their coast of Massachusetts.
“It’s a New England shark, but you typically don’t find them on the beach,” said Greg Skomal, of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, who also speculated the shark might have got into some fishing gear.
Porbeagles are not classified as endangered in the United States, although fishing officials do list them as “overfished,” the New England Aquarium said in a statement.
The sharks were once common off the coast of Cape Cod, but their numbers dropped after they were targeted by foreign fishing fleets in the 1970s and 1980s.
This type of shark do not consume humans or seals. The porbeagle shark eats squid and other fish. The sharks can grow to eight to 10 feet long.
Officials determined that it was best the fish just float back to sea and let nature take its course.