A Kaipara iwi and the Department of Conservation (DoC) are reminding people of the rules surrounding marine life after a juvenile great white shark - believed to be an accidental by-catch - was left on a beach, and later butchered.
Te Uri O Hau and DoC were informed recently of the dead great white being left at Tinopai.
"A call was received by our DOC HOT number on Sunday, May 15," DoC operations manager Stephen Soole said.
"By the time staff were able to respond, we were advised that only the tail and livers remained.''
Great white sharks are protected under the Wildlife Act. This means it is illegal to hunt, kill or harm great whites. It is not illegal to accidentally catch one of these sharks, but it is illegal to retain it or any part of it, and it is illegal to not report it.
''We were disheartened to hear that the shark was in the condition that it was found in," Te Uri O Hau environs manager Fiona Kemp said.
"Contact was made with Te Uri o Hau Taumata kaumatua John Edwards from Nga Tai Whakarongorua Marae to seek direction on tikanga," Kemp said.
DoC marine experts believe the shark is likely to be a great white as mako do not commonly frequent harbours, Soole said.
"We think this shark is the result of fishing by-catch, probably from recreational fishing," Soole said.
Any catch such as this must be reported to DoC and/or the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). Public can report details of sightings, capture or strandings to email@example.com or 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).
'Protected Species Catch' by XEquals is a mobile app that is also available to report accidental capture of protected species. Data you provide is confidential, anonymous and does not result in any infringements or prosecutions.
• New Zealand is recognised as one of the world's hotspots for great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias), along with the waters off California (US), South Africa, Australia and Japan. They breed around northern New Zealand, and move south into colder waters, where the main seal colonies are located.
Great white sharks are apex predators - at the top of the food chain. Their diet includes bony fishes, small sharks, stingrays, eagle rays, blue penguins, seals, sea lions, dolphins and blubber scavenged from whale carcasses.
In New Zealand waters, great white sharks are found from the subtropical waters north of the Kermadec Islands to the subantarctic Campbell Island/ Motu Ihupuku, 700 km south of Stewart Island/Rakiura.
Great white sharks are listed on the IUCN Red List as 'vulnerable'. Great white sharks are totally protected in New Zealand waters and aboard New Zealand vessels fishing in international waters.