A great white shark was recently caught from a beach in the Outer Banks, marking the first time that one of the animals has ever been landed from shore on the East Coast, and images of the catch and release have prompted anger among conservationists who protest the way the shark was treated.
According to GrindTV, the unusual catch was made by Jeff Heglund in October. Heglund used the moniker “shark man” when he posted about the incident on the Calvary Temple Youth Group blog. The story began to spread this week after the South Florida Shark Club shared it, claiming that the incident represented the first instance in which a great white has ever been caught from a shore line on the East Coast of the United States.
— Shark Advocates (@SharkAdvocates) December 4, 2014
Heglund hooked the great white at night, and his first reaction was one of disbelief.
“It felt as if someone hooked my line to an SUV on Highway 12,” he noted.
Using heavy tackle, Heglund was able to bring the white shark to shore after an hour long fight.
“It was shocking to see a great white shark in the sand as we finally dragged this now exhausted monster by the tail onto the beach,” Heglund recalled.
“He measured 87 inches long. And we estimated his weight at over 180 pounds.”
Though the great white was eventually released, Heglund’s catch stoked the ire of conservationists and shark advocates, who pointed to the amount of time the white shark spent out of the water, according to Pete Thomas Outdoors. The Marine Conservation Science Institute, a California-based group that studies white sharks, noted that the great white is a protected species in Atlantic waters.
— OCEARCH (@OCEARCH) December 3, 2014
“That means you do not drag it up the beach for poses, gap the jaw, or lift the tail to get that winning shot,” they asserted.
“What you do is cut line and release immediately, especially if you are not removing hook or tagging. Sad to see this juvenile in this state. Hopefully he fully recovered.”
Recently, a white shark was filmed during a cage dive in South Africa, lunging out of the ocean as it attacked a piece of bait. As the Inquisitr previously reported, South Africa is one of the premier destinations for divers seeking to interact with great whites.
In recent years, scientists have noted that Atlantic white sharks have made a comeback amid an increase in seal populations and the implementation of conservation measures directed toward great whites.
[Image: Jeff Heglund via GrindTV]