Baby hammerhead sharks are seen dumped at a sailing club outside Honolulu.
(Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources )
Researchers in Hawaii are working to determine how nearly 100 baby hammerhead sharks died after they were found dumped Tuesday morning near a lagoon outside of Honolulu.
Andrew Rossiter, director of Waikiki Aquarium, told the Honolulu FOX 2 that he never seen so many baby sharks are killed in one time, and that the puppies were likely to be caught in a gill net.
“To breathe that they have to remain in motion, so once they are in the just two to three minutes, they are not able to breathe and they suffocate,” Rossiter said.
The sharks were on the shore along Keehi Lagoon near the La Mariana Sailing Club, approximately 5 km west of Honolulu, to the station.
“I see sharks right here and then I walked further and I see all these fish, the sharks on this barricade,” Samuel Etrata, who works for the sailing of the club, told FOX 2. “It is very shocking.”
Etrata said he called the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, which is now investigating. It was not immediately clear who had dumped the shark pups.
Almost 100 dead baby hammerhead sharks found along Sand Island https://t.co/ElyE1vLmBV pic.twitter.com/1lgWNXYirZ
— khon2 News (@KHONnews) June 26, 2018
Keehi Lagoon is a well-known location for hammerhead pupping season this time of the year, the officials said, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. But it is not a naturally occurring event for shark babies are found on the shore in large numbers.
Rossiter said: there should be stricter laws to prevent the mass death of the sharks.
In fact, Hawaii state Sen. Mike Gabbard, a Democrat, is pushing a bill in the last few years making the illegal catch of sharks in gill nets.
“I am sick to my stomach about what happened today. It really gives me the incentive to make sure that this bill will be adopted in 2019.’
– Hawaii state Sen. Mike Gabbard
“I am sick to my stomach about what happened today. It really gives me the incentive to ensure that this bill is assumed in 2019,” Gabbard told FOX 2.
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Last year, the bill passed unanimously in the state Senate, but not to move forward in the House, the station reported.
The bill called for anyone who illegally catch sharks to a fine of $500 per shark for the first violation, the report said.
“If it is the pupping season and it is a pupping, maybe they should restrict or prohibit the use of gill nets but for a few weeks, give them a chance,” Rossiter said.
A number of of the nine species of hammerhead sharks are both endangered or vulnerable.
Amy’s Place is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.