A fresh shark carcass washed ashore at Mount Maunganui has horrified a Tauranga man.
Stan Lilley had been walking along the beach near Tay St about 10am on Sunday when he came across the carcass.
"Like a lot of people our thoughts were on Hamish Rieger hoping for the best for him and his family, so you can imagine our horror ... "
Mr Lilley suspected the shark had been definned for shark fin soup and thrown overboard by fishermen although a shark expert said that was not the case.
Rough seas have also washed ashore parts of the artificial surf reef near Tay St in recent days.
"The shark was halfway between the shore and the sea, it appears to have washed up on the last high tide and as you can see was still quite 'fresh'."
Mr Lilley said there was nothing else around the shark other than a dog. Mr Lilley took a photo of the shark to share his disgust at the find.
"This type of behaviour is abhorrent," he said.
Department of Conservation expert Clinton Duffy said the shark was a good-sized shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus), a common offshore species and popular gamefish.
Mr Duffy said the fisheries indicators for the shark were positive, "so there are no concerns about the status of this species in New Zealand waters".
Mr Duffy said the shark had not been de-finned as suspected but had its back steaks removed.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council pollution prevention officer Chris Brewer said it was not made aware of the shark carcass until approached by the Bay of Plenty Times yesterday.
"If we knew the exact location of the carcass we could investigate and dispose of the carcass accordingly as a decomposing carcass will begin to release an unpleasant odour."
Mr Brewer said while the regional council could remove carcasses, it did not govern the fisheries and was not in a position to comment regarding the treatment and condition of the carcass.
"We encourage members of the public to phone our pollution hotline on 0800 884 883 to report sighting of shark carcasses on the beach."
A spokesman for the Ministry for Primary Industries said no one was available for comment yesterday.