Commercial Fishing Expedition Finds 4,500 Pound Shark With Turtle in Its Mouth

By Richard Szabo

A businessman from California circulated viral photos of a dead shark weighing 4,500 pounds with a sea turtle in its mouth on April 19.

Hazama International CEO Greg Vella, who is from Long Beach, uploaded three photos of the monster-sized predator lying on a Japanese dock on the Pacific Ocean side.

Vella revealed he came across the beast after hearing on the radio there was a white shark swimming around with a big sea turtle in its mouth.

“I was out commercial ‘ken ken’ style fishing for tuna … when I heard chatter on the radio,” he said in a Facebook post dated April 19. “People started to joke about it, so I did not pay it any more attention. The next day, it was found dead near the bait receivers, tangled in some netting.”

He spoke with several commercial fishing captains who were heartbroken to see the shark dying since it could not let go of the turtle.

“The commercial guys were bummed as white sharks do not bother their commercial fishing, and most certainly do bother the things that eat our catch,” Vella said. “The shark weighed 4,500 pounds.”

The graphic images show different angles of the shark with a partially eaten turtle in its mouth that seems too big to swallow. Vella believes the turtle is likely to have died long before the shark died.

“The half that was not partially digested or decomposed might have [survived] but not for more than an instant,” he said.

The photo of the shark appeared to be taken in front of a large bait boat, which are much bigger than the local vessels.

“This is a big baitboat—20 or more guys fish lift poles in the bow, they fish as far as Midway or Samoa,” he said. “These are local (ice boats) kenken (jig boats) vessels. The outriggers are folded forward, and you can see the Greensticks at the stern. These boats are typically 10 to 50 gross tons, most of them have slammers that can hold up to fifty scoops of bait, and have racks and water sprayers up on the bow if they choose to fish the squid pole or bait pole.”

The post was liked more than 7,700 times and shared nearly 9,700 times. Vella has received so many notifications he has struggled to keep up.

“My phone was blowing up with notifications and over 100 friend requests, which I deleted,” he said. “Bunch of people asked me how to join the [Commercial Salmon, Albacore, and Crab Fishers Facebook] group.”

Others saw the shocking find in a more comical light.

“The shark wont do that again,” Bruce MacKimmie said.

“Bit off more than he could chew,” Clint Beasley said.