Tests to be carried out on rare blue shark found on Fife beach

© SuppliedThe shark was discovered by a dog walker on Monday.
The shark was discovered by a dog walker on Monday.

A blue shark discovered on a Fife beach has been removed for further examination.

Experts from the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme (SMASS) were initially unable to find the animal’s carcass on Tentsmuir Beach after a passer-by reported it on Monday and believed high tide may have moved it.

However, the five-foot long shark has since been located thanks to help from staff at Scottish Natural Heritage’s Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve and was taken from the beach.

Specialists were due to collect the shark on Friday and tests will be conducted in due course.

Dr Andrew Brownlow, from SMASS, confirmed that a necropsy will be carried out at some point in the near future to try and establish how the shark died.

“It is not unusual to see this species around the Scottish coast, yet finding these animals washed up in such a fresh condition does not happen very often,” he said.

Blue sharks are normally found in much deeper water and are seldom seen so close to shore, especially in this part of the world.

It is believed the animal may have live stranded, where it swam on to the beach alive and died, suffered from illness or been a victim of bycatch.

The sharks mainly feed on schools of fish and is non-aggressive to humans, although it has been known to attack people if threatened.

However, Dr Brownlow provided some reassurance to anyone now fearing a dip in the Tay or the Firth of Forth.

“The key message is that sharks have much more to fear from humans than the other way around, and you certainly don’t have Jaws in the Tay.” he said.