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Shark expert believes 'very clean cut' means protected juvenile great white killed for meat in Tauranga

A Department of Conservation shark expert believes a juvenile great white shark was killed for its meat after its head was found dumped on a Tauranga beach.

Front torso of juvenile great white shark, Pilot Bay, Tauranga. Source: Facebook/White Shark Conservation Trust

White Shark Conservation Trust shared an image of the dead shark to its Facebook page on Saturday.

“This image was taken today at Pilot Bay, Tauranga. This is a juvenile white shark that appears to have been killed to consume,” the post reads.

“The shark has what appears to be stab wounds to the head indicating it was killed after it was brought to shore.

“Someone must have seen the shark being caught or cut up. This act is illegal on a number of accounts - killing of a protected species and being in possession of parts of a white shark.”

DOC shark expert Clinton Duffy believes the “clean cut” seen in the image leads him to believe the shark was killed for its meat.

“If it was killed for sport, they would have taken the jaw as a trophy,” Duffy told 1 NEWS.

He says the people responsible could face a fine of up to $200,000 and/or up to two years in prison for the unlawful killing or taking of a protected species.

If anyone has information on the dead juvenile great white shark they can call 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).