Canadian Tourists Hook Great White Shark Off Florida Coast

Public/Screenshot/Website — via Sudden Strike Offshore Adventures

Kate Hirzel Contributor
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Canadian tourists caught a great white shark Thursday while fishing aboard a Florida charter boat, according to a Facebook video.

“One of my customers had a catch of a lifetime,” Captain Scott Housel of Sudden Strike Offshore Adventures told local news outlet WESH. “All of a sudden, he hit one of the lines and I’m not really sure if we caught him or he caught us, but we ended up going for about a two-mile ride chasing him down.”

The great white shark can be seen in the video swimming about four feet below the surface. Sudden Strike Offshore Adventures offers deep-sea fishing, sport, bay fishing charters and scuba diving trips. “I’ve been fishing out here since 1989 and this is the seventh great white I’ve ever seen,” Housel told WESH.

The great white shark is classified as a protected species, and it is illegal to land and possess them in state waters, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (RELATED: Florida Cop Responds To ‘Fight In Progress’ Call, Breaks Up Two Angry Goats)

“Everybody pretty much had an opportunity to kind of feel the strength,” Housel told WESH. The group eventually released the shark back into the ocean. Despite the tourists reportedly not harming the shark, one activist group called the Blue Planet Society reacted critically to the news online.

“Fishing isn’t always about catching fish,” Housel told WESH. “Sometimes it’s appreciating that big white that comes by or that big tiger shark that comes by. Sometimes it’s dolphins that come swimming by – you just never know what you’re going to see out here. Respect the ocean [and] enjoy it.”