A Hammerhead shark was caught by a fisherman’s net in the shallow waters of Hopkins over the weekend. The one caught was a Scalloped Hammerhead shark a breed rarely seen. At one point in time hammer heads were a common sight in Belizean waters, however the Scalloped Hammerhead is today considered an endangered species.
According to reports the 8 feet long hammer head shark was found entangled inside a net in the shallow waters of Hopkins Village at around 4:00 pm on Sunday February 15th.
At the sight of the large fish villages caught excited however they were shocked when they realized it was a shark. The net had been placed there for some a couple of days and residents believe the shark had been trapped inside the net since Saturday but no one saw it. Pictures circulating in social media caused quite a stir but villagers stress that it was an accident.
On Monday Oceana Belize sent a press release saying that,”The death of a rarely seen Scalloped Hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) in the waters off Hopkins village after it became entangled in a gillnet, highlights the need to transition away from this destructive fishing gear.”
The press release also said that in the last 30 years it is estimated that the population of scalloped hammerhead sharks have declined by more than 95%. It further stated that,”Known as ‘wall of death’, destructive gear such as gillnets and activities such as finning contribute to this staggering reality faced by shark species like the Scalloped Hammerhead.”