Mako shark caught could be record

2013-06-06 08:04
(Picture: Supplied)

(Picture: Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

California - A huge mako shark caught off the coast of Southern California could set a record, but a critic said it should have been released because sharks are threatened worldwide.

Jason Johnston of Texas caught the 600kg shark off Huntington Beach on Monday after a 2 1/2-hour battle, the Orange County Register reported.

"I've hunted lions and brown bears, but I've never experienced anything like this," Johnston told the newspaper. "It felt like I had a one-ton diesel truck at the end of the line, and it wasn't budging."

If the catch is confirmed and meets conditions, it would exceed the 553kg record mako catch made in July 2001 off the coast of Massachusetts, said Jack Vitek, world records co-ordinator for the Florida-based International Game Fish Association.

It takes about two months for the association to verify domestic catches, he told the Los Angeles Times.

The shark should have been released, argued David McGuire, director of the California-based protection advocacy group Shark Stewards.

"I'm a little shocked by it," he said of the catch.

"People should be viewing these sharks as wonderful animals that are important to the ocean and admiring how beautiful they are" rather than "spilling their blood and guts," McGuire told the Times.

Only 23 of the 6 850 world records on file with the game association involve fish topping 589kg, Vitek said. The largest catch was a 1 200kg great white shark that was taken in 1959 off the Australian coast.

"Seeing a fish over 453kg, whether it's a shark, a tuna or a billfish, it's extremely rare," Vitek said.

The shark was being kept on ice and will be donated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association for research.

Johnston came to California to film a game-hunting television program called "Jim Shockey's The Professionals" for the Outdoor Channel.

Southern California is considered to be a nursery ground for mako sharks. But those caught are usually between 0.7m and 1.8m long, said Nick Wegner, a fisheries research biologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego.

"Encountering one this big is rare," he said.

The catch was made aboard the chartered fishing vessel Breakaway, out of Huntington Beach.

"It's just like any other fishing," skipper Matt Potter told the Times. "The state limit for mako is two per person per day. We only kept one mako for a total of 18 passengers out there three days." The rest were released, he said.

Johnston also defended the catch.

"There are not that many sharks being taken out of the water," Johnston told the Times. "It's not hurting the population. If we pull four fish out of the water per year, that's just four."

Still, McGuire said sharks should be left alone.

"These kind of reality shows are not reality," he said. "The reality is we're overfishing sharks and this macho big-game attitude should be a relic of the past."

Read more on:    us  |  fishing

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
29 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.