Fishermen have reeled in a potentially record-breaking mako shark off the coast of Huntingdon Beach, southern California.
The 1,323lb female is 11ft long and measures 8ft around its midsection, the Associated Press reports.
The shark was caught by a group of reality TV sport fishermen led by Texan Jason Johnston, who wore a harness attached to the boat to stop him from being pulled into the ocean.
The capture took two-and-a-half hours. If approved by the International Game Fish Association, it will overtake the current mako record of 1,221lbs, which was caught off Chatham, Massachusetts.
Johnston told KTLA: “It’s unreal. This thing is definitely a killing machine. Any wrong step and I could have went out of the boat and to the bottom of the ocean.”
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, he added: “I still feel the soreness in every bone. It’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
Some conservationists are less enthused about the capture.
David McGuire, director of California-based protection advocacy group Shark Stewards told the Times the shark should have been released.
“I’m a little shocked by it. People should be viewing these sharks as wonderful animals that are important to the ocean and admiring how beautiful they are, rather than spilling their blood and guts.
Fishing show host Conway Bowman believes the California Department of Fish and Wildlife needs to do a better job of regulating mako fishing.
He told UT San Diego: “They need to tighten the regulations without taking rights away.
"We have a really unique fishery off Southern California, but if we keep chipping away at it by taking away the breeding fish, it’s sure to hurt the fishery, the ecosystem.
"Last year I saw three makos over 1,000 pounds, and I’ve seen these big makos tearing up seals and sea lions. They keep that population in check. They play an integral part in our ecosystem.”