Five dead sharks wash up in Betty’s Bay

Posted on 29 May 2019

Last week five dead broad-nosed seven gill/ cow sharks washed ashore on Main Beach in Betty’s Bay. The sharks were all killed by two infamous orcas, Port and Starboard.

Five dead sharks wash up in Betty's Bay

The pair of killer whales have been frequenting the waters of South Africa for the past two years.

According to the South African Shark Conservancy (SASC), the orcas have been responsible for tens of shark deaths, including those of great white sharks.

In a Facebook post SASC said, ‘It is here, for the past two years, where these male dolphins have been gorging themselves on the huge, nutrient-rich livers of white sharks and cow sharks.’

According to Letaba Herald, Pete Oxford called on shark experts Meaghen McCord (director of SASC) and Pippa Ehrlich, who came from Hermanus and Simon’s Town respectively to investigate the scene. All five of the deceased sharks were female.

After conducting necropsies it was confirmed that the sharks were killed in the same way that great whites have previously washed up along South Africa’s coastlines.

Oxford, who was present on the scene, said in a Facebook statement, ‘It was a classic modus operandi where apparently, the orcas grab a pectoral fin each, flipping the shark over and tugging to split open the throat and chest cavity whereby they suck out the liver.

Indeed, the wounds were consistent with that theory and once opening the carcasses the livers were gone.’

He continued saying that the pair of killer whales are identifiable by their distinct drooping dorsal fins.

Image: Facebook, Pete Oxford

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