Get a load of this beast of the sea. Experts are estimating that it’s over 200 years old.
The 40-pound shortraker rockfish was caught off the coast of Alaska by Henry Lieberman (pictured showing off his trophy) during a deep sea excursion on June 21. The species is known to live at depths up to 2,500 feet, but it’s reported that Lieberman’s line was out somewhere in the vicinity of 900 feet when he hooked the 41-inch prehistoric looking monster.
In an interview with the Daily Sitka Sentinel, the Seattle native said, “I knew it was abnormally big [but I] didn’t know it was a record until on the way back we looked in the Alaska guide book that was on the boat.”
Troy Tidingco, Sitka area manager for the state Department of Fish and Game, said the fish is still being analyzed but he believes it is at least 200 years old. Tidingco said that would beat the current record of 175 years. Researchers are able to determine the age of a shortraker by the number of growth rings along its ear bone.
Two-hundred years old. That’s just mind-blowing, man.
Think about it — if this fish was born in 1813, America only consisted of 18 states at the time, James Madison was the president, Napolean was wreaking havoc all over Europe, Antarctica hadn’t been discovered yet, and Pride and Prejudice had just been published. The fish would’ve been 48 years old in 1861 when the first shot was fired in the Civil War. Downright astounding.
I can’t even begin to imagine the things this fish saw in its lifetime, and can’t help but think that it’s a shame that Lieberman didn’t release it, but then again, if he did that, he wouldn’t be prospectively holding what looks to be a pretty remarkable historical record now, would he?
To each his own, though, I suppose. Reports are that Lieberman plans to have the fish mounted in his home, but has provided a tissue sample to Department of Fish and Game scientists to aid their research to accurately date the beast’s age.
[via Yahoo! News]