A dedicated fisherman in Norway has landed a rare, 15-foot-long Greenland shark, setting a new world record for a fish caught with a rod and reel from a kayak.
Joel Abrahamsson, from Gothenburg, Sweden, caught the shark in the waters near the island of Andoria, in Norway, according to the Express. The 33-year-old built up his strength by reeling in 60 pound cement blocks and lifting heavy rocks in anticipation of the 90 minute struggle with the shark.
Greenland sharks live in cold, deep water, as the BBC notes, so it took Abrahamsson 25 minutes to lower the eight pounds of coalfish he was using as bait from his kayak to a depth of 1,600 feet. After the shark struck, it took the angler an hour and a half to reel in the predator, which weighs as much as an adult polar bear and is thought to be nearly 200 years old.
— Natural Habitat (@NatHab) June 13, 2014
“I knew there were fish of this size in Norway and that was all I needed to know to become obsessed with hooking one from a kayak,” Abrahamsson said.
“They’re almost like dinosaurs. We know they exist but very few people get to see them and it’s always been a dream of mine to see a living Greenland shark.”
The animal weighed an astonishing 1,247 pounds, large enough to possibly overpower the angler and drag him into the frigid waters. In order to prevent this, Abrahamsson was strapped into a harness in his kayak.
— UnderWaterWorld (@UnderWaterWorId) July 28, 2014
“The fighting harness was almost strangling my stomach and I was left bruised from that,” he recalled.
“The water was really clear and I could see the shark about 50ft under the kayak and that’s when I got really scared.”
“I just saw this big shadow under me, flapping with its tail. The feeling I got then was a feeling of both total fear and amazement.”
“That was about as heavy a fish as I ever want to fight from my kayak.”
The Greenland shark is one of the largest sharks in the world and is the largest arctic fish pic.twitter.com/IPBDnchAHR
— Sharkingaround (@sharkingaround) August 24, 2014
As the Inquisitr has previously reported, Greenland sharks are a protected species, so the fish could not be killed, preventing it from being weighed on a certified scale. Instead, researchers in a support boat measured the shark and used a recognized formula to determine its weight. Abrahamsson’s world record, therefore, is an unofficial title.
Greenland sharks are endemic to the north Atlantic and, due to their habitat, they have little interaction with humans. Though they prefer to eat other fish, such as cod or smaller sharks, Greenland sharks have been known to feed on polar bears, horses, and reindeer.
[Image: BNPS via the Express]