A shrimp fisherman caught a rare specimen of shark and, thanks to his Grandson who likes pictures, he had a camera handy to snap a picture and release the fish he called “ugly” but scientists call “interesting”.
Carl Moore, 63, of Townsend, Georgia, caught the animal on April 19 and estimates it was 18 to 20 feet long. It was still alive and he released it.
The find helps fishery scientists in their information about species distribution. The goblin shark was only the second member of his species ever caught in the Gulf of Mexico, and the first since 2000. A paper will be published on the find. That’s really cool. But there were more surprises in the pictures than just the main subject.
Many deep sea isopods showed up in the pictures of what fisherman Carl Moore caught in his net, said Andrew Thaler, a marine biologist in California.
You’ve probably never seen one. “Imagine a pill bug the size of a house cat,” Thaler said.
The creatures, which can grow up to 20 centimeters, are common in the deep sea, Thaler said, but spotting them is rare because they’re usually very spread out.
“I’ve never seen that many in one place at the same time before,” he said.
See more photos of giant isopods here. They are rather scary looking.
Because of the amount of isopods and the shark, one expert speculates the fishing boat may have been over a rotting whale carcass that provides abundant food for deep sea life when it sinks. That is so neat. Just a chance happening and a smart move to photograph the rest of the fauna brought up with the shark. We can draw so much information from it. Beautiful.