A blue shark, thought to be a pregnant female, has washed up on the Wadden island of Schiermonnikoog.
Photographer Foppe Peter Schut found the dead creature on Tuesday afternoon while walking with his wife on the north-western shore of the island.
‘I saw something light grey through the binoculars with an unusual shape,’ he told Omroep Fryslân. ‘It looked like a seal, but one of the fins was sticking up.’
Shark expert Paddy Walker, of the Dutch Elasmobranch Association, said the pictures of the 1.95m (6ft 5in) long corpse indicated it was a pregnant female carrying dozens of fertilised eggs.
The remains of the shark have been taken away and will be studied by experts at natural history museum Naturalis, based in Leiden. ‘The research can give us very useful information about the condition of the ocean,’ said collection manager Esther Dondorp.
Last year a live blue shark was found stranded on the beach in Ouddorp, Zuid-Holland. On that occasion the lifeboat society KNRM managed to return the shark to the ocean.
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