NEWS

Catching a shark a 'beautiful experience,' Petty Harbour man says

07/21/2015 07:30 EDT | Updated 07/21/2016 05:59 EDT
Glenn Chafe was enjoying the food fishery near Petty Harbour Saturday when he hooked something that definitely wasn't a fish.

At first he thought he had hit bottom, but within a few minutes of tugging, Chafe realized he had a large — and toothy — shark on the line.

"He came fairly easily, I thought it would be a lot harder. I'm a fly fisherman and definitely a 10-foot shark you'd think he'd put up more of a fight, but it wasn't too too bad," he said.

"To my opinion, it looked like a great white or something, the way his mouth was and his teeth...I've seen a mako sharp before and a blue shark and they don't seem to be as mean."

However, according to Mark Simpson, a shark expert with the department of Fisheries and Oceans, Chafe likely caught a far-less-dangerous porbeagle shark.

With more than 200,000 porbeagle sharks in Atlantic Canada, it's one of the most common sharks in the region although it has been declared an endangered species. Simpson said they usually range from two to three metres in length.

Chafe didn't want to hurt the shark, so after taking a picture, he cut the line and let the shark swim free.

"We thought that was the most peaceful thing to do," he said.

Simpson said that was a good decision. The sharks aren't particularly dangerous, he said, but it's important to treat them humanely and cut the hook.

"Obviously you want to keep away from the teeth, that's the dangerous end, but the sharks themselves are not really aggressive and dangerous," said Simpson.

"They're going for the fish, they have no interest in the boat itself."

As an avid fisher, Chafe said catching a shark was a "beautiful experience."

"I send pictures home to my friends, show them the nice trout we're catching, and they're sending me pictures of big cod fish and sharks and stuff," he said.

"So now I have something to show back at them. I've got my shark."

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