Video: Juvenile Great White Washes Ashore Leading To A Criminal Investigation

Credit: Ashley Kern

Shark populations across the world have been declining at an incredible rate and 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.

A recent study reported that more than 30 percent of all shark species – and their cartilaginous cousins, the rays – are now endangered, threatened, or vulnerable.

Due to this, there has been a huge focus on the preservation of sharks throughout the world, many of which are extremely vital to the health of an ecosystem as they are the apex predators.

Given the push to preserve and protect sharks, it became very concerning when a large juvenile great white shark washed ashore in Aptos, California.

According to a report by KION, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife collected the 2.45-meter (8-foot) long, 227 kilogram (500 pounds) remains. The agency confirmed that researchers at the nearby University of California Santa Cruz’s Long Marine Lab performed a necropsy to determine cause of death but have not revealed details.

After performing the necropsy at the Long Marine Lab in Santa Cruz on Tuesday (June 19), the cause of the death is not being revealed but is leading to further action as it is apparent there is something concerning going on.  “Upon receiving the lab’s necropsy results, the CDFW’s Law Enforcement Division is now taking up the investigation,” a representative from CDFW told Live Science in an email.

A recent report finding that juvenile great white deaths are becoming a lot more frequent, there is great concern of the most important predators of the ocean is not being properly protected.

The white shark is currently listed as vulnerable – and therefore not eligible for safeguarding under the US Endangered Species Act, but the species is protected by several federal and state laws and restrictions, including some specific to the San Francisco Bay Area (Aptos falls in this region).

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