A washed-up shark was found on a beach in the area of Polis Chrysochous on Sunday, the Marine and Environmental Research (MER) lab has reported.

Specifically, the lab identified the body of a sandbar shark, a vulnerable species which is found both in Cyprus and in Greece, distinguishable by its very high first dorsal fin and interdorsal ridge.

Despite being vulnerable, however, the sandbar shark is not a protected species in Cyprus, even though there has been a noticeable decrease in their number in the Mediterranean in the past years.

MER said that the main threats for sandbar sharks are represented by intense trawling, a method of fishing that involves pulling a fishing net through the water behind one or more boats, bottom longlines, which are fishing lines set horizontally along the ocean floor, and are held in place using anchors nets, and general degradation of coastal ecosystems.

MER marine biologists who examined the body said the shark may have gotten tangled in fishing nets and, confused, washed up on the beach in Poli Chrysochous.

A blow to the shark head was also noticed, but the biologists said it was inflicted after his death.

In spite of their large size and similar appearance to other dangerous sharks such as bull sharks, very few, if any attacks are attributed to sandbar sharks, so they are considered not to be dangerous to people. As a result, they are considered one of the safest sharks to swim with and are popular sharks for aquariums.

MER also added that around 500 sharks have been swimming in Cyprus’ waters in the past year, according to their research.

Photo from Facebook page of Cyprus Marine (sea) Life – Θαλάσσια ζωή της Κύπρου – Kıbrıs deniz yaşamı