For any Spanish-speaking readers, Mexico’s El Imparcial has uploaded a video to YouTube featuring an interview with one of the fisherman who hauled in a large great white shark earlier this week from the Sea of Cortez.
WARNING: Video contains graphic images of white shark carcass
UPDATED: Thanks to reader Kevin Polk for the link in the comment section to a CapeLinks Blog article that sheds a lot more light on this story. Most notably that the shark was dead when it was found entangled in the fishing gear, and that the story was kept quiet due to legal concerns due to white sharks being legally protected species.
According to a Cape Cod Times article, a fishing vessel reportedly caught a 20′ (6m) great white shark a few miles off of Chatham, Massachusetts, last month. The capture was reported to Division of Marine Fisheries senior biologist Greg Skomal, who was caught “off-guard” by the news.
Data collected from tagging efforts by Skomal have shown that the tagged great white sharks tended to leave the Chatham area around October or November and spent winter months in the waters off of Florida. Skomal theorized that the bulk of a white shark that large would probably have provided insulation to allow the shark to tolerate the lower water temperatures in the area, which were reported to be in the lower 40s (° F).
The Cape Code Times article does not go into much detail about the capture of the great white shark. There is no mention, in the report, of whether the white shark (a protected species) was released after being caught. There is also no mention of any photographic documentation of the white shark. A 20′ (6m) specimen would be considered very large for the species.
NBC Washington is reporting that an 8′ (2.4m) long bull shark was caught on August 31 in the Potomac River. According to the report, Willy Dean was fishing in Maryland’s St. Mary’s County in hopes of netting cownose rays for a biologist from Solomons Island, MD. Dean inadvertently netted the bull shark, which put up “quite a fight,” according to the fisherman. Dean says he will likely have the shark’s head “mounted” and is currently keeping the carcass in his freezer, according to the report.
A small sand tiger shark (aka grey nurse shark, or spotted ragged-tooth) caught by fishermen in Long Island Sound is making the rounds in the local news media. Despite being a species considered relatively harmless to humans, the news of the presence of a sand tiger shark apparently stirred up some fear among some of those interviewed in the story above.
Mystic Aquarium suggests that fishermen who catch sand tiger sharks should release them. While the fishermen who caught the shark seem to be enjoying the fame of their “big catch,” they told NBC Connecticut that they would release any sharks that they catch in the future.
YouTube user sherri7057 has posted a series of short video clips that involve a fisherman accidentally hooking a shark. According to the video information the fisherman was fishing for tarpon at Sanibel Island, Florida. While there isn’t anything particularly dramatic or spectacular about a fisherman accidentally hooking a shark, the final video of the sequence might be indicative of a more positive perception of sharks from the public. Not only does one of the guys make an effort to pull the shark back into deeper water, so that it can swim away, but a group of people can be heard in the background cheering and applauding when the shark is successfully released.
Kudos to the guy who helped the shark back out into the water!