Crews tow the giant basking shark found in Norway to land. Photo: Torleif Ludvig Olsen / NTB scanpix
A 10-tonne shark, thought to be one of the largest ever found, was discovered floating dead off the coast of North Norway on Monday.
The creature was first spotted by crew on a ferry who saw the dead giant fish floating in the waters west of Ylvingen island on the coast of Helgeland, Nordland
It was then towed by an ambulance boat, before being fixed to a pier on the island.
Captain Torleif Ludvig Olsen and his team hauled the shark onto land, but could at first not estimate the size due to the late-night darkness.
Olsen said to NTB: “It was around 11pm and dark. We got a proper look at the shark and we saw it was around 12 meters long. I guess it weighed up to 10 tonnes. Unofficially, one 13.7 meters has been caught [before], but this was not documented.”
It is thought this basking shark from Ylvingen could be of record size, but its exact size has not yet been recorded.
Captain Olsen said: “We got [the shark] just west of Ylvingen and dragged it in to the closest pier. It was heavy and difficult [to move]. The shark had got stuck in some fishing nets by its head and front fins. I guess it had been swimming around in the net for a while.”
Olsen argued the dead creature should not be left floating in the sea as it does now. He said: “The appropriate authorities should get its liver and sink it.”
Basking sharks are the second largest fish in the sea next to the whale shark. The basking shark only consumes plankton and is harmless to people. The liver may take up a fourth of the basking shark’s total weight and is used for commercial purposes.