The crew of National Geographic Channel’s hit series Shark Men announced this past Friday that they had broken the previous record for the biggest Great White Shark ever caught and released alive. They exhibited their capture on Sunday night on the US version of the show. We’ll unfortunately have to wait a bit to see it over here in Africa.
The five and a half meter long male bus weighed in at approximately 1 557kg and was first found off Mexico’s Guadalupe Island in 2009, but only caught and landed by the team recently.
The team named the bulky character Apache after Brett McBride, the boat’s skipper’s dog.
The team’s previous record had been a female that came in at just over five meters herself, although neither record really counts because there isn’t an official organisation monitoring this sort of thing.
Expedition leader Chris Fischer recounts some moments from the epic capture:
The battle with Apache was like nothing we’ve ever dealt with.
He was all scarred up and had big marks all over him – you could tell he was just a bad-ass shark.
It was so impressive and so humbling to be near him.
Once on board the boat, the researchers fitted the fish with a satellite-tracking tag and did the usual blood-sampling and conducting of other research. They then released him and watched him swim away vigorously, apparently.
Size is not of the greatest importance to the researchers and they are far more interested in other aspects of the animal’s behaviour.
It’s also without much surprise that it’s not considered to be the biggest submarine to be cruising around either as explains John O’Sullivan, head of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s White Shark Program:
That is one big shark, [but] I have no doubt that this isn’t the largest white shark in the wild.
According to reports, one of the largest ever white sharks reliably measured was a six meter individual from Ledge Point, Western Australia in 1987.
Another female has been verified by the Canadian Shark Research Centre at just over six meters and caught near Prince Edward Island in August 1988. The supposed record holder is a six-comma-four meter behemoth that weighed a reported 3 324kg.
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