Massive shark at Panama City Beach: “It’s very interesting because they are cold-water fish” — “Extremely rare” in Gulf

Rare shark spotted off Panama City Beach, Panama City News Herald, March 18, 2011:

Walkers and fishers on the pier Thursday afternoon were privy to an astounding sight, as a basking shark, about 15 feet long, meandered around the Russell-Fields Pier.

Basking sharks are extremely rare in this region, with only one other documented sighting in the Gulf of Mexico, said Dr. Robert Hueter, director of the Center for Shark Research at Mote Marine Laboratories in Sarasota. …

Basking sharks are the second largest fish species, typically measuring about 30 feet with a maximum weight of 19 tons. …

“It’s very interesting because they are cold-water fish,” [Stephanie Nagle, education coordinator at Gulf World Marine Park] said…

Read the report here.

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