3 March 2009

Hammerhead shark: what a coincidence!

On the 15th of February my wife and I travelled from Lake Tarawera to the the Waitakere Ranges in New Zealand (North Island). We took a break near Wharekawa at the Firth of Thames. It was just a spot near the beach. Sitting down I saw a lot of seaweed and one dead fish washed ashore.

It looked as if the head of the fish was torn apart. But having a closer look it appeared to be a shark: the common or smooth hammerhead, Sphyrna zygaena (NL: hamerhaai)! The first one I ever saw and pure coincidence. Its size was 50 cm; the maximum size is 400 cm.

I think, looking at the eye, he(?) died a few hours earlier that day. I saw no wounds and have no idea what caused its death. It is a pity I couldn't take it home.

In New Zealand Fish, C. Paulin, ISBN 0-909010-85-4 it is quoted as 'Uncommon in New Zealand waters'.