The small-spotted catsharks were found at Rhossili beach on the Gower Peninsula, South Wales
More than fifty dead sharks were found washed up on a popular beach on Sunday amid fears they were wrongly netted by trawlers.
Environment chiefs are investigating after beachgoers found the small-spotted catsharks at Rhossili on the Gower Peninsula, South Wales.
Investigators will try to discover how the sharks died — but it is feared they may have been dumped after being caught in trawlermen’s nets.
Laura Campbell, 24, made the grim find on a walk along the 1.5mile beach, voted among Europe’s best.
She said: “We were on a walk going down the beach when we started to see sharks that looked like they had been washed up on the shore.
“We carried on walking and saw more sharks every metre or so. I think there were more than 50 in total.
“It was so shocking. I love sharks and I’ve been scuba diving before to see them.
“I was put through to Natural Resources Wales when I called to report it who said they would investigate it.”
Laura, from Berkshire, believes the dead sharks are the “bycatch” from a trawler boat.
She said: “One of the sharks had a piece of fishing wire going through it and fishing gear had been left on the ground.
“It looked like some of it had been there for a while and had been washed up in the tide.
“There’s no reason for them to be there. We’ve been camping around here this weekend and there haven’t been any storms which is why I think it’s the result of bottom trawling.”
A spokeswoman for Natural Resources Wales confirmed they were aware of the incident but had passed it on to Swansea Council to investigate.
Rhossili was last year voted the best beach in Europe by Suitcase magazine – beating shores in Spain, Greece, Italy and France.
The stunning shoreline at Rhossili sits within the first designated “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” to be named in the UK.
It appeared in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games and has also featured in TV shows including Doctor Who.
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