Blue shark spotted off south of France coast found dead today

The female shark had been sighted around Hyères and its behaviour was causing concern over its wellbeing

An image of a blue shark in the ocean
The blue shark spotted off the coast of Var has been found dead. Photo for illustration only

The female blue shark which was spotted on July 27 between the Almanarre beach in Hyères, and the Port Hélène beach in Hyères (Var) has been found dead this morning (July 30).

Read more: Blue shark seen near south of France beach poses no risk say experts

Since it was first sighted, the Groupe phocéen d’étude des requins research body had been monitoring the shark’s movements. It initially believed that the fish may have approached the coastline to give birth, but later grew more concerned about its wellbeing.

This is because the shark – which was about two metres long – would not move away from the shore, and was swimming round in circles.

The shark’s body was found on rocks at the water’s edge and was removed at 10:00 today.

There is no autopsy planned, but the body will be analysed to search for wounds, and some tissue samples will be taken.

Nicolas Ziani, the founder of the Groupe phocéen d’étude des requins, has suggested two possible hypotheses for the creature’s death.

“It could be [related to] a traumatic event. Something had gone wrong on a neurological level; my theory is that there was a pathogen in its brain, but we cannot know [for sure]," he said.

“It was calmer yesterday evening (July 29), but it continued to rub up against the rocks and to swim in a circle.

“We are not going to do an autopsy, as this would be very complicated. However, we will take some measures, see if there are any suspicious traces” on the body.

When it was swimming near to the coast, the shark did not pose any real danger to bathers, as an exclusion zone had been established around it.

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