Kayak fisherman Joel Abrahamsson from Sweden was fishing in 1,600 feet of water when he reeled in an estimated 1,247 pounds Greenland shark. The massive shark was caught near Andörja Island in Norway. He told Kayak Fishing Magazine “There are only about 10 to 15 Greenland sharks caught every year in all of Scandinavia so it is a rare species. The fish are protected from commercial harvest; only recreational rod and reel fishing is allowed. ”
He took a support staff with him including a camera crew and a marine scientist from Havfiskeinstitut Norge. Adding “My catch was a part of a research program to study the sharks, It has been prohibited to fish for 40 years commercially, but it is allowed with a rod. There are only about 10 to 15 Greenland sharks being caught every year in all of Scandinavia, so it is a rare species.”
The fish is not a spectacular fighter, but it is a fish that constantly tugs its head down and keeps slowly pulling, making it impossible to ever stop winding,” he said. “So I put the reel in low gear and just grind the fish upwards.
“The fight was just [grueling] and extremely heavy. A few times it got a bit gnarly. I was scared of going over.”
Both Abrahamsson and the shark researchers agreed that reeling the shark up to the leader would be considered a catch. At which point, the boat crew would take over.
“We had a time limit of under five minutes to get it back unharmed being such a unique fish, so I was not allowed to handle it or secure it to my kayak.”
The shark was 13ft long and 6 feet round and estimated to be over 200 hundred years old. Using the length and girth it was calculated the shark weighed 1247 pounds.
The shark was released and looked healthy as it swam off.