Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Photo: Massive Tiger Shark Caught & Released by DNR Off Hilton Head, South Carolina

On October 24, 2014, a message board poster Outcast posted the following below photo of a tiger shark that was caught off the coast of Hilton Head, South Carolina.

According to Outcast, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources hooked the shark on one of their longlines which they use to catch, tag, measure and take blood samples from sharks. This 'girthy' female measured in at 13 feet, 6 inches.

There is some speculation that the shark may actually be world-record size based on weight.  In 1964, Walter Maxwell landed a 13 foot, 10.5 inch tiger shark off the Cherry Grove Pier in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. That shark weighed in at 1,780 pounds.

Walter's catch held the weight record until 2004 when an angler caught a tiger shark off the coast of Ulladulla, Australia that weighed 5 pounds, 11 ounces heavier.

We should note that there is a growing conservation push for the International Game Fish Association to stop using weight as the benchmark for world records and instead use length measurements. This would allow mature fish to be released so they could reproduce thus increasing the numbers of threatened species.

Did this Hilton Head tiger shark break the world record?  Fortunately, we'll never know for sure.

The photo was posted on the SharksOnTheSand message board.
Massive tiger shark caught by DNR off Hilton Head, SC
Tiger shark off Hilton Head - Photo posted by Outcast