Record 2,800 pound great white shark caught off SC Coast

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David Hucks
David Hucks
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at

A 2,800-pound, 14-foot great white shark caught off the coast of South Carolina on Dec. 8 by charter captain and “shark whisperer” Chip Michalove is the first shark in the southeast Atlantic fitted with a new camera tag that provides marine biologists with fascinating footage of the apex predator’s movement.

Outcast Sport Fishing owner Michalove was on his first shark excursion of the winter, when great whites begin to migrate south from their summer feeding grounds around Cape Cod, in search of warmer waters. In addition to anglers Ed Young, EJ Young, and Dave Clark who caught the shark, Megan Winton from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy assisted in deploying four tags: pop-up satellite archival (PSAT), spot, acoustic, and a camera tag.

A pop-up tag lasts for about 8 months, a spot tag for about a year, and an acoustic tag lasts up to ten years, providing scientists with a wide range of information about the species’ movements and habitat preferences. (Scientists got their first data Dec. 10 when the great white pinged its location, which is displayed on Sharktivity, the Conservancy’s app.)

This camera tag – which has been deployed on 20 sharks in the Cape Cod area – provides scientists with a visual record of the shark’s movements for about a day before detaching.

Camera tags have shown “a shark getting zapped by a torpedo, others stunned by seals and diving birds, another staring at rocks and buoys, and another relying on the current after eating to push water through its gills instead of constant swimming,” according to the Myrtle Beach Sun News. Michalove helped Winton recover the camera tag, and now she is trying to download the footage in a slow, long process.

According to Michalove, he used his expertise in catching large tiger sharks and a weight chart for great whites to estimate the shark’s weight. In a text message, he noted that a 14-foot shark usually weighs around 2,000 pounds. However, this particular shark was exceptionally wide-bodied. While not pregnant, Michalove suspected she may have recently consumed multiple seals based on the numerous scratches and scars on her face, indicating she is likely a skilled hunter.

In honor of LeeBeth Young, a shark enthusiast who died two years ago at age 34, Michalove named the shark LeeBeth. He wrote on Instagram that she loved shark fishing, and that she witnessed her father, brother, and family friend catch and tag a lifetime fish.

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