Fisherman Catches Giant Mako Shark Off California Coast


A Fisherman on a charter boat has caught a giant mako shark, possibly a record setter off the coast of California’s Huntington Beach.  The 1,323.5 pound shark (601.59kg), is extremely large for a mako, and if confirmed by the International Game Fish Association, based in Florida, would exceed the 1,221-pound record mako catch, made in July 2001 off the coast of Chatham, Massachusetts. The mako shark is a man-eater, and every bit as dangerous as a Great White shark.  It measured 12 feet (3.6576 meters) in length, which is also incredibly large for a mako.  While their mouths are not as large as a great white’s, they also have rows of razor-sharp teeth.  The fisherman who caught the shark, Jason Johnston, told the LA Times, “it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life.  This thing was a beast. It’s unreal. This thing is definitely a killing machine. Any wrong step and I could have went out of the boat and gone to the bottom of the ocean.”  Apparently Johnston is also a hunter, and added, “I’ve hunted lions and brown bears, but I’ve never experienced anything like this. It felt like I had a one-ton diesel truck at the end of the line, and it wasn’t budging.” Clearly Johnston is an amateur fisherman, out for a day of fun, who happened to be lucky enough to catch a once-in-a lifetime shark.  His references to the shark as “this thing” “scary” and “killing machine” shows he has spent little time with sharks or on the water.  His reference to being at the “bottom of the ocean” is amateurish and melodramatic.  But the only thing that really matters however, is that sharks are endangered and although he spent much time reeling it in, that should have been his reward.  The shark should have been released.  Sharks are indeed beautiful and fantastic animals, who have been the victims of over-fishing, leaving their numbers depleted.  Another head on a wall, is not reason enough to kill off these incredible animals, although apparently the shark is being donated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association for research. David McGuire, director of the California-based protection advocacy group Shark Stewards told the Times, “I’m a little shocked by it. 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.” In response to the controversy, charter boat skipper, Matt Potter spoke to the Times and said, “It’s just like any other fishing. 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. Potter skippers the “Breakaway”, based out of Huntington Beach.

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