This goblin shark is believed to be only the second caught in the Gulf of Mexico. (Source: NOAA)
FLORIDA KEYS, FL (WVUE) -
Scientists are surprised about a rare catch a fisherman made last week in the Gulf of Mexico off of the Florida Keys.
The scary looking goblin shark is only the second shark of its kind caught on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It measures 18' long.
The species is a deep-water shark that has been discovered off of the coast of all continents except Antarctica. The other goblin shark discovered in the Gulf of Mexico was near Pascagoula, MS. Few species have ever been caught.
The goblin shark is rarely seen at the surface or in shallow coastal waters, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History. Living goblin sharks are usually pinkish white with bluish fins.
The previous maximum reported length of the goblin shark is 12.6'. The shark weighed 463 pounds. It feeds on shrimp and other soft bodied marine life. The fisherman that caught the goblin shark was trying to catch royal red shrimp.
"NOAA biologists encourage people to call and report these rare sightings and catches, as the information they can collect allows them to know more about a species," the National Marine Fisheries Service said in a statement.
The fisherman let the shark go after reporting it and taking several pictures, according to southernfriedscience.com blogger David Shiffman.