An enormous mako shark weighing in at over 1,300 pounds was caught by a Texas fisherman off Huntington Beach, California on Monday, likely breaking a world record — and stirring up controversy among both conservationists and other fishermen.
The fish was caught by Texan Jason Johnston, who reportedly took two hours to catch the enormous fish, according to the Dallas Morning News. He described it as a "true killing machine."
Read more form GlobalPost: Sharks pushed to edge of extinction by global overfishing
The record-breaking shark appears to have been caught as part of a publicity ploy for the reality show "Jim Shockey's The Professionals" — stoking controversy over the killing of the creature, a member of a threatened species.
“I’m a little shocked by it,” said David McGuire of Shark Stewards to the Los Angeles Times. “It’s really something you see more in Florida than in California, where we have more of a conservation ethic.”
“These kind of reality shows are not reality. The reality is we’re overfishing sharks and this macho big-game attitude should be a relic of the past,” McGuire added to the LA Times. “This is not entertainment. It’s not right, in my view.”
The skipper of the fishing boat, Matt Potter, said that the record-smashing catch was legal and that other mako sharks caught were released, according to the Associated Press.
Sharks world-wide face serious threats to survival, as almost 100 million are killed each year by humans, harvested for their meat and fins, and killed as accidental "bycatch."