Dead sharks. (Photo: Screenshot via WKRG)

In Mobile Bay, along a stretch of shoreline lined with beach houses, vacationers found 57 dead sharks laid out on the beach.

No one knows for certain how the sharks died, but one group was tangled in a recreational gill net, which is hung in the water to trap fish as they try to swim through. It seems possible that someone used the net improperly, caught a bunch of sharks, freaked out, and dumped them on the beach.

The sharks look to be black-tipped sharks, which are commercially fished for their meat, fins, and skin. The IUCN, which lists endangered species, describes it as a “modest-sized” shark that’s vulnerable to fishing since it spends its time near shore. It was previously listed as a “vulnerable” species, but is now one step further away from being endangered and currently listed as “near threatened.”

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