A 500kg Bluntnose sixgill shark, four metres long, has been found dead on the La Mata shoreline.

Beach walkers who discovered the shark called the police with the Civil Guard and the Environmental Protection Unit SEPRONA attending the scene.

Marine biologists from Torrevieja, Antonio Pujol, said the shark had all its teeth.

The cause of death was possibly caused by fishermen with deep-sea nets, thrown back into the sea.

The adult female shark was examined by veterinarians from the Valencian Oceanografic and a marine biologist from the Spanish Ministry of Environment, before being removed.

The Bluntnose sixgill shark is common in the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, feeding on eels, bony fish, crabs and marine mammals.

They have been inhabitants of the oceans for 150 million years, and are on the ‘Red List’ of endangered species.

The Bluntnose sixgill – Hexanchus griseus – which lives at depths up to 2,500 metres, is nocturnal and rarely surfaces.

An autopsy to determine the cause of death is to be undertaken.