Sixty dead spiny dogfish sharks were found washed up on Atlantic County beaches over the weekend but officials say it's nothing to worry about.

A Department of Fish & Wildlife investigator said a combination of a strong wind and very high tide left the sharks stranded in a marsh, where they died, according to DEP spokesman Larry Hajna.

"The next tide cycle comes in, lifts them off the marsh and carries them out through the inlet and onto the beach," Hajna said.

Hajna said that beaches are not cleaned daily like they are during the summer and sea life washes up on the beach all the time.

Marie Levine, executive director of the Princeton-based Shark Research Institute, said the dogfish are long-living, slow-growing sharks who are near threatened globally and endangered in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean.

Levine said they travel in large groups.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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