Google Alerts alerted me to this news story out of Gloucester, Massachusetts and it aggravates me.
A previously tagged great white shark was “hooked and released” on Tuesday near Rockport, according to GoodMorningGloucester.com, a blog that covers the North Shore fishing town.
The website reported that a lobsterman by the name of Gil Mitchell snagged a great white dubbed “Cisco” near Thacher Island, located roughly a mile from the small seacoast community.
Mitchell freed the shark, according to the website, after realizing the ocean predator had a transponder affixed to its dorsal fin.
“They hooked the fish, got it close enough to see the tracking device, and let it go,” the blog’s creator said in an e-mail. “They didn’t put it aboard the boat.”
“Cisco” was first tagged in October by researchers from OCEARCH — a nonprofit that studies ocean life around the globe — during a controversial expedition off Nantucket.
The article from Good Morning Gloucester gives no more information than “Gil hooked and released Great White Shark Cisco seeing the tracking device on it’s fin.” It does give the OCEARCH information on Cisco though.
Cisco is a juvenile great white shark that is just over 8 and a half feet long and weighs just over 360 lbs. He’s got quite a bit of growing to do. Did I mention that great white sharks are on the vulnerable species list? Or that it’s illegal to catch them?
My aggravation comes from the fact that the blurb from Good Morning Gloucester heavily suggests that the only reason that Cisco was released was because he had a tracker on it, because, you know, there’s a good chance that a scientist somewhere is going to notice a missing shark tracker and it’s shark.
This guy, at least according to what little info we have, never even acknowledged that he would have been knee deep in the big funky if he had kept the shark and the right people (or wrong people if you are on the other side of the fishing line) found out. It was a case “It’s tagged, it goes back” without any concern to the endangered nature of the animal. Shouldn’t be surprised. Since it made a local site that focuses on the fishing community he’s already won his bragging rights of catching a great white shark.