A fourth shark from a critically endangered species has been discovered dead on the shores of an Australian coastal town, according to a report in Newsweek. This happened after a 60-mile-northward colony of gray nurse sharks vanished, the outlet further said.
The sharks have been discovered nearby Blacksmiths Beach, south of Newcastle. The most recent victim had a hook "embedded deep in its gut" and "extending from its mouth" was two metres of thick wire, according to Yahoo News Australia.
It is the fourth incident of a gray nurse fatality in the area in the past 12 months, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Fisheries told the outlet.
According to Newsweek, rough-tooth sharks, often referred to as ragged-tooth sharks or sand tigers, are gray nurse sharks that typically hang out close to the sandy seafloor between 30 and 750 feet deep. Considering how peaceful they are, these sharks are referred to as "labradors of the sea."
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has listed them as "vulnerable," making them one of the most endangered shark species. In Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, and New South Wales, they are protected by the Fisheries Legislation.
Gray nurse sharks move throughout the eastern Australian coast and spend varied lengths of time congregating at offshore stony reefs in a variety of areas, making it difficult to assess their population in the area.
Hilary Longhurst, a Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Fisheries spokesperson, told Newsweek that, "A recent CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) report has indicated that the east Australian gray nurse shark population comprises approximately 1,000 to 3,000 adult animals and is why the species is listed as critically endangered in this region."