A group of commercial anglers hooked a 13-foot-long tiger shark off the South Carolina coast over the weekend, reeling in the massive predator just a mile away from a popular swimming beach.
The shark, which weighed 800 pounds, according to the Post and Courier, was hooked within a mile of the Washout, a popular surfing spot located on Folly Beach. Joe Morris and Mike Huff of Seasonal Seafood, who caught the massive tiger shark on Saturday, noted that they also managed to land another shark, weighing 400 to 500 pounds, during the same excursion. On Monday, they reeled in an 11-foot-long shark, which weighed 700 pounds.
— For The Win (@ForTheWin) August 5, 2015
While the presence of tiger sharks off the South Carolina coastline is enough to give beachgoers pause, Huff noted that the animals are no surprise to local fishermen.
“There’s a bunch of them out there. We catch a couple every night,” he said.
The anglers were forced to gut the 800-pound-tiger shark before bringing it aboard, due to its sheer size, yet the shark is hardly an unusually sized specimen. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, tiger sharks can grow to be 18-feet-long and weigh more than 2,000 pounds, putting the largest of them in a range more commonly inhabited by great white sharks. Despite this fact, it still took five men to move the shark, which Huff described as “huge,” off the boat.
900 pound tiger shark found near a popular surfing area in Folly Beach, S.C. See more pics: http://t.co/ALQPPRfYdl pic.twitter.com/iPMioAIiIh
— KFOX14 News (@KFOX14) August 5, 2015
Beachgoers in the Carolinas are already on edge this summer after a record number of shark interactions. As the Inquisitr has previously reported, 11 different incidents have been recorded so far in both North and South Carolina, which usually report only one or two shark bites each year.
Earlier this year, another massive tiger shark was tagged by researchers off Hilton Head and tracked by the non-profit group Ocearch. As the State reports, the shark was named Chessie by the team that documented her. Marveling at her size, researchers also compared the shark’s head to that of a great white.
— OCEARCH (@OCEARCH) August 2, 2015
While beachgoers may be understandably nervous about the presence of large tiger sharks off the coast, Bryan Frazier, a S.C. Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist who studies sharks, noted that the animals pose little threat to swimmers.
“Large tiger sharks are known to occur in South Carolina’s coastal waters, however they should be of little concern to beachgoers; humans aren’t on their menu. Tiger sharks are known to eat sea turtles, sea birds, sharks, rays and other fish species.”
— Travis Rice WCBD (@traviscrice) August 5, 2015
According to Huff, the anglers sold their catch to seafood stores and wholesale outlets, including the massive tiger shark.
[Image via Fox Carolina]