Fishing captain, John Brossard, 57, and his crew were trying to reel in a small shark off the coast of Goodland in Florida, US, when the shark was instantly swallowed whole by a sea creature, in a move that stunned the fishermen.
The fishing crew noticed three ominous dark shadows lurking underneath the boat for a while, but they were unsure what the creatures were, and could not identify them at first.
All of a sudden, one creature lept out of the water and swallowed the shark in one gulp. Mr Brossard watched in disbelief as the fish swam away with its prey and broke their fishing line.
He then identified the creatures as Atlantic goliath groupers, lurking beneath their catch.
He said: “Basically we were shark fishing when all of a sudden two or three goliath groupers started hanging out under the boat waiting for our catch to come in.
We were just thinking, wow, unbelievable, something is going to eat a shark and it’s bigger than a shark. We were very surprised. Basically, it ate the shark, took down, and broke the line.”
He added: “We were using a 50-pound test line and that was not enough.”
The fisherman and crew thought the gigantic grouper weighed at least 500lbs (35st) while the blacknose shark was roughly three feet long. He said they were fishing in a place that could be dangerous even to the most fearsome of predators, known as Florida Everglades.
In the area, there are thought to be sharks, alligators, crocodiles, pythons, dolphins and manatees. Mr Brossard stated it is a place where “everything there tries to eat everything else”.
He added: “Bull sharks have been seen getting eaten by crocodiles and alligators sometimes, and sharks also get eaten by bigger fish there.”
According to the Ocean Conservancy, goliath groupers are some of the biggest fish in the sea that can grow more than eight feet long and weigh up to 800 lbs, which is roughly the size of a motorbike. The goliath grouper also has a big presence in a healthy coral reef ecosystem, as they help maintain balance as a top predator.
This article by Hanisha Sethi and Simon Green was first published by The Express on 10 June 2023. Lead Image: A fisherman was reeling in a small shark with his crew when he noticed a shadow lurking (Image: PEN News).
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