WELLFLEET, Mass. - The ocean water in New England is so cold that it is apparently killing sharks from "cold shock." A shark conservation group says a fourth thresher shark has been found frozen off the coast of Cape Cod.
Atlantic White Shark Conservancy Program Director Michelle Wcisel told the Cape Cod Times the shark carcass was discovered New Year's Eve in an ice pack near Wellfleet. Wcisel says rough conditions stopped researchers from recovering it.
Three other sharks washed ashore last week. One of them, which the conservancy dubbed a “true sharkcicle,” was hauled off of the beach for a dissection after thawing at a NOAA Fisheries Service location.
The conservancy says the sharks are common in the offshore waters during warmer weather. They speculate that the sharks were heading south and got caught in the hook of Cape Cod and succumbed to cold shock.
Cape Cod Bay's surface temperature sank to 41 degrees last week. Scientists believe thresher sharks are impaired when exposed to waters below 44 degrees.
Wcisel says the shark deaths continue to garner international attention.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.