Metro

Headless shark is found in Stoughton woods

The Massachusetts Environmental Police and Stoughton police have launched an investigation after the carcass of a decapitated shark was found dumped in the woods, officials said.

The body of the blue shark was found just before 5 p.m. on Sept. 30 on Shuman Avenue, said Amy Mahler, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

“We got a call for a smell in the woods,” Stoughton Deputy Police Chief Rob Devine said.

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After finding the headless shark, local police handed the case over to the environmental police, he said.

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Blue sharks, which are allowed to be harvested, are abundant in New England waters, according to Mahler.

To be legally harvested, blue sharks must be a minimum of 54 inches long and they can only be caught one at a time, Mahler said.

Whoever dumped the carcass could be prosecuted for violations of fishery law, illegal dumping, or animal cruelty, she said.

Melissa Hanson can be reached at melissa.hanson@globe.com or on Twitter @Melissa__Hanson.