Here is a huge skate pulled from the waters in Florida. Catch and release is an important aspect of healthy eco-systems. This activity is used to keep the overharvest of stocks at a minimum. Growing fishing pressure, by the increase in the numbers of individuals taking up the sport, has lead to depleted numbers as well as a higher occurrence of seeing a rare catch. Catch and release activists should be praised for their commitment to conservation and their desire to see healthy populations of fish species for future generations. Here listed below is another great example of where a fisherman has landed a rare species and decided to set it free.
Enormous rare sea creature hauled from depths by Florida shark fisherman
Mark "the Shark" Quartiano has caught thousands of sharks, but never anything like the 800-pound deep-water skate he landed off Miami Beach
November 25, 2013 by Pete Thomas
Mark Quartiano has caught thousands of sharks, and hooked clients up with thousands more. In fact, the Florida captain is famously known as Mark the Shark. But until Saturday, Mark the Shark had not encountered anything quite like the monstrous skate that he described as looking “like some kind of dinosaur.” It was a rare catch, indeed. Quartiano said this shark relative’s scientific name is Dactylobatus clarkii, and a quick Internet search revealed very little information about the species. SharkReferences.com listed one of its common names as Hookskate. Its geographic distribution includes the Western Central Atlantic, northern Gulf of Mexico, and the northern coast of South America. It typically resides at depths of 1,000 feet or more, and can grow to immense sizes. Quartiano, who was fishing with a Japanese film crew, had dropped a whole bonito to the bottom off Miami Beach. Before long, line began to spin from his reel.
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“I was fishing at about 500 feet and we were trying to catch a shark for their TV show,” the captain said. “I hooked that monster and it took about four hours to bring it up. At first I thought it was a large thresher shark, because that’s kind of the way they fight.” One of the film crew had underwater gear and captured footage that will be released later this year or early next year, Quartiano said. Quartiano’s crew winched the giant creature out of the water for “three or four minutes” for a photo opportunity, then set it free. Mark the Shark estimated its weight at 800 pounds. “It was a big female and she swam away pretty quickly,” he said. “It was kind of cool to catch something new for a change. … When we first saw it we didn’t know what it was. It looked really odd … like some kind of dinosaur.”
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