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JAWSSOME; Two giant sharks weighing a total of 2,600lbs caught off Irish coast by a single angler.

Byline: ANDREW HAMILTON

TWO giant sharks, which together weighed more than the entire Munster rugby pack, have been caught off Ireland.

The massive sixgill creatures were both landed by the same angler - using just a line and reel.

The pair, which weighed 185 stone, would have broken Irish records if they were killed and taken ashore to be weighed.

However, both giant fish were released back into the water soon after their capture.

The animals were caught by English sea angler, Andy Griffith, off the west Clare coast with Carrigaholt Sea Angling.

Mr Griffith caught a third, smaller shark during his fishing trip last Wednesday.

The third creature weighed an estimated 800lbs, more than the combined weight of the Munster front row.

Luke Aston of Carrigaholt Sea Angling said: "He had one which we estimated at around 1,150lbs and another at around 1,400lbs.

"It was something truly exceptional, two sharks of over 1,000lbs on the same day is incredible.

"These are massive creatures, one was about 14ft in length and the other was around 17ft.

"We normally operate a catch and release with all the fish we catch. We did bring in one shark five or six years ago which is still the Irish record.

"To claim a new record, you need to weigh the shark on the shore. It is very safe to say that both of these fish would have broken the Irish record if we had brought them ashore.

"There are a lot of big fish out there at the moment."

Large sharks are occasionally caught as by-catch by commercial fishing vessels using giant nets.

Mr Aston added: "These fish were caught on a line. It is specialist fishing gear but it is still just a line.

"The breaking strain on the line is just 80lbs, so it is a case of just playing the fish, or tiring out the fish.

"The sharks will recover after this. We have tagged and released sharks here [Clare] that have been caught as far away as the Cape Verde Islands, more than 3,000 miles away."

news@irishmirror.ie

CAPTION(S):

BIG FISH Both giant creatures were netted by Andy Griffith

THE REEL THING Giant shark caught off Co Clare

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 31, 2017
Words:373
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