The Department of Fisheries is investigating after reports dozens of sharks were discovered lying dead on South Stradbroke Island.

Pictures circulating on social media over the weekend have sparked a mix of responses from nature lovers lamenting the mass deaths while others complained that perfectly good flake for fish and chips had gone to waste.

A mass of dead sharks was reportedly discovered on South Stradbroke Island. Picture posted on Instagram by Blair Parker.
A mass of dead sharks was reportedly discovered on South Stradbroke Island. Picture posted on Instagram by Blair Parker.

"That's devastating," wrote one person while another said "Oh man that's sad".

However, others pointed out fishing nets routinely catch the sharks used for flake at fish and chip shops.

A spokesman for the Department of Fisheries said they would send teams to South Stradbroke to determine exactly what had happened and whether any offences had been committed.

The images were also run through software to establish their legitimacy.

Photo of a mass of sharks reportedly found dead on the beach at South Stradbroke Island. Picture: Instagram/Blair Parker.
Photo of a mass of sharks reportedly found dead on the beach at South Stradbroke Island. Picture: Instagram/Blair Parker.

"Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol will investigate whether the reports of dead sharks on the beach are current and whether their presence is due to discarded bycatch," he said.

"Local fishers should sort their catch further offshore and release any bycatch alive wherever possible."

Reports of illegal fishing can be made to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.

South Stradbroke is more remote and less populated than North Stradbroke, with deserted beaches stretching for kilometres beyond the island's small settlements.

Attempts have been made to contact photographers who posted photos of the dead sharks.

Originally published as Straddie mass shark death shock



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