A rare 800-pound stingray was caught off the coast of Florida’s Miami Beach. Captain Mark Quartiano has been a fisherman for more than 30 years and he has never seen anything like it. The sea monster was 14 feet long and weighed around 800 pounds.
“Mark The Shark” Quartiano was filming an episode of a fishing program when he caught the massive creature. He said he baited his hook with a large bonito fish and dropped the line 500 feet into the ocean. The famous captain hoped to catch a large shark.
When he finally got a bite, he assumed it was a thrasher shark. As reported by Grind TV, it took Quartiano and his crew nearly four hours to reel it in:
“It was a big female and she swam away pretty quickly. It was kind of cool to catch something new for a change. … When we first saw it we didn’t know what it was. It looked really odd … like some kind of dinosaur.”
Mark the Shark said the stingray appeared to be quite old, as it was covered in barnacles. Film crews captured underwater video and several shots of the creature on the deck. Within minutes, the 800-pound stingray was tagged and returned to the ocean. Quartiano said he had no reason to keep the monster stingray.
In an interview with ABC News, Mark the Shark said giant whipping stingrays are “very rare.” Commonly called the “hookskate” or “fingerskate,” little is known about the Dasyatis centroura.
George H. Burgess of the Florida Museum of Natural History said the rare fish reside in deep waters around the continental shelf. They are primarily found along the east coast between the Carolinas and Uruguay.
Burgess said the monster stingrays are quite rare. However, they are more likely to be seen by “commercial longline fishermen and research biologists.” They are difficult to catch, as they use their bodies to create a suction against the bottom of the ocean. Burgess said “once the suction is broken it’s basically a matter of hoisting up a big weight.
“Mark The Shark” Quartiano released a photo of the 800-pound stingray. However he said the underwater video footage is still being processed.
[Image via Facebook]