Frozen Shark Washes Ashore on Cape Cod

The shark was found near First Encounter Beach in Eastham

Eastham Natural Resources

Shark sightings have become a much more common occurrence off the shores of Cape Cod in recent summers.

But a sighting was made earlier this week in the dead of winter, albeit a different kind of shark spotting: A dead thresher shark was found washed ashore near First Encounter Beach, according to Eastham Natural Resources.

The Boston Herald reported that the shark might have been caught in a fish trap.

The shark was reported to the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries; the National Marine Fisheries Services Lab out of Rhode Island will proceed in dealing with it, officials said.

While this shark might have been victim of a fishing net, cold waters have been to blame in the past. Four frozen sharks were found in late December 2017 off the Cape, all victims of cold shock, scientists said.

Michelle Passerotti of the NOAA told the Herald that the waters off that area of the Cape get very shallow, very quickly. While the majority of sharks, like birds, head south for the winter, not all require the warmer waters of the southern U.S.

"Thresher sharks are pretty tolerant of cold temperatures, but it could have gotten trapped when the tide went out and gotten too cold in the shallows," Passerotti told the Herald. "It’s the fish trap effect."

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