This morning at around 11am EST, a 8 foot, approximately 500lb great white shark was found washed ashore on the south end of Wrightsville Beach. Ocean rescue dragged the shark away from the shoreline and to Crystal Pier at the Oceanic Restaurant where onlookers took selfies and remarked at the amazing animal.
DJ Struntz, local photographer and all around surfer, spearfisherman, etc. etc. pointed out that one of the pectoral fins had been bitten off and there were several other bite marks from large sharks along it’s body. DJ has his masters in marine biology and along with representatives from UNCW, they speculated upon very preliminary signs that the shark had been dead for some time, maybe more than a day. There was no way to tell if the shark had been bitten before death or postmortem, but most likely these were smaller sharks biting the carcass after it had died.
When we left, a front loader was getting ready to transfer the carcass to a pickup truck sent by UNCW who told us, “it’s a great specimen.” It’ll be interesting to see if they can identify a cause of death or at least see what the great white had been feeding on.
About a half dozen surfers, unphased, were heading out into the latest swell to hit Wrightsville Beach.
The UNCW marine biologists said at first glance it didn’t look like the shark had been caught by a fisherman or in a net, that something else caused its death. It was very sad to see this on the beach, to see something of this size, this strong, dead. People were obviously amazed, but no one was disrespectful with the selfies. Just curious. There’s so much we don’t know about them. It’s a sad day