DECAPITATED and left to rot in the heat, 15 sharks found dead at Fingal Head have sparked outrage from residents.
The sharks, a little more than a metre in size, were found killed and dumped on the rock wall beside the Tweed River on Friday morning.
Banora Point woman Laelia Gardner was enjoying a walk at the picturesque headland with her father when she spotted the sharks at about 10am.
Ms Gardner said she was appalled by the gruesome find, which was located near the end of Letitia Spit Rd, visible after she stood on a rock overlooking the water.
"I can't understand why someone would do that if they're not taking them for a feed," she said.
"(Locals) think it's disgusting that someone would actually do that."
Ms Gardner said she knew a man who had been fishing the night before who had inadvertently reeled in a few sharks, but released them.
"When I showed him the sharks, he couldn't believe it," she said.
Since Ms Gardner posted photos of the sharks on social media, a huge debate around the incident has ensued, with her post shared 240 times.
She has urged people to understand the important role sharks play in keeping marine ecosystems healthy.
"I think there just needs to be more education for people to understand how important they are," Ms Gardner said.
"What I don't understand is why would you kill life when there's no use for it.
"Just take what you can eat."
A NSW Department of Primary Industries spokeswoman said the sharks were likely to be sliteye sharks, based on their fin colouration and pectoral fin shape.
She said the department would be investigating the incident.
"Each fisher can take a total of five of these sharks per day," she said.
"There is no size limit on this species.
"NSW Department of Primary Industries will investigate to determine if there's been any illegal activity."
She said the NSW DPI promotes responsible fishing, such as "only catching sufficient fish for your immediate needs and disposing of all litter and fish waste responsibly".
For tips on responsible fishing, visit dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/ recreational/fishing-skills/ responsible-fishing- guidelines. Suspected illegal activity can be reported at dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/ compliance or by phoning 1800043536.
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