Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to dive with some sand tiger sharks off the North Carolina coast. Unfortunately, the juvenile sand tiger in the video above had apparently been hooked on what appears to be a fisherman’s bottom rig. The young shark was swimming around inside the hull of the USS Indra. The shark appeared to have a treble hook in its lower jaw with a lead sinker dangling from it.
The sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus) is a protected species in U.S. waters. However, due to the unpredictable nature of fishing, sand tigers can be accidentally hooked by fisherman. It is unclear whether this particular shark was hooked accidentally and broke the line, or the line was simply cut.
A diver had told us he attempted to remove the hook from the shark on a previous dive. He said he had “wrestled” with the shark for quite some time during the attempt, but his efforts proved unsuccessful.