When a tourist couple decided to take a walk on Rhossili Bay, they came across a discovery that they were not expected.
On May 29, Laura Campbell and her boyfriend became concerned after finding 50 or more shark carcasses on the beach.
In speaking to Wales Online, Campbell said, “We carried on walking and saw more sharks every metre or so. I think there were more than 50 in total. One of the sharks had a piece of fishing wire going through it and fishing gear had been left on the ground. It looked like some of it had been there for a while and had been washed up in the tide. It was disgusting to see and it was very upsetting.”
Ms Campbell believes the sharks were killed or critically injured after becoming ensnared in fishing lines or nets, then the collected carcasses were dumped back into the water. The sharks are protected under law, so getting rid of the sharks is typically the first thing fishermen do when sharks are a product of bycatch.
As of now, no official identification of the shark species has been made.
It is estimated that humans kill between 100 million and 273 million sharks per year. Most of these deaths are a result of shark finning which is the process of harvesting the sharks fin by cutting it off and dumping the rest of the shark back into the ocean to die if it was still alive.
As apex predators, shark species play a crucial role in maintaining the balance and health of their ecosystems – aka the food webs that provide sustenance for about 3 billion people worldwide.