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Mystery after 17 headless sharks with tails cut off found dumped on beach

Mutilated sharks with their heads and tails cut off have been discovered on a beach surrounded by rubbish.

The creatures, identified as shortfin mako sharks, were found in the port city of Antofogasta in Chile and made public on November 9.

In a video released by Antofagasta Environmental Regional Ministerial Secretary Rafael Castro, the carcasses are seen piled on top of plastic bags, tyres and other waste.

University professor Carlos Bustamante can be seen examining the sharks and explains their tails have value in markets – but doing so and discarding the carcass is illegal in Chile.

Several of the sharks are not fully grown while others are said to be of a “very considerable size”.

Carlos goes on to say he is confused why the creatures were dumped but suggests local fishermen are to blame given the location they were found.

The professor and Mr Castro have since taken samples of the sharks to find out who is responsible.

Carlos called the illegal dump on the beach an “environmental disaster” and slammed those responsible for not "caring or respecting Antofagasta, its biodiversity or even its people”.

There have been no further reports on people or businesses suspected of having polluted the beach.

Shortfin mako sharks are hunted for their meat and sport.

Due to their power, size and the fact their species is one of the fastest swimmers in the world, they are able to do big acrobatic jumps out of the water when caught and are a highly valued big game fish due to the difficulty in catching them.

They are currently listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

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