8-Year-Old Australian Boy Reels in Possible World-Record Tiger Shark
Life is a bit different “down under.” While many young hunters in the United States are gearing up for deer season, a boy in Australia had his sights set on a very different game.
Jayden Millauro is only 8 years old and weighs a mere 88 pounds, but that didn’t stop him from reeling in a monster shark off the coast of New South Wales.
Earlier this month, he hooked a tiger shark that was about eight times heavier than he is — and there’s a good chance the young angler set a world record.
“The youngest member of the Port Hacking Game Fishing Club, Jayden Millauro has been learning to fish almost since he could walk,” 9News reported.
“He was out fishing at a secret location off the coast of Browns Mountain, 160km (99 miles) south of Sydney, when he managed to hook the 314kg [692 pound] tiger shark.”
As you might imagine, hauling in such a giant fish was no easy task. Millauro battled hard to make sure the beast didn’t get away.
“The adrenaline was pumping from the moment we all spotted the shark at the boat,” the boy’s father, Jonothan Millauro, told 9News. “So Jayden grabs the rod, we harnessed him up.”
“I was trying to hold myself, by pushing off the wall in the boat,” the 8-year-old boy said.
When all was said and done, the young fisherman ended up victorious, and the stats on his catch are so impressive that they may have shattered previous records. In the International Game Fish Association’s ‘small fry’ category, the largest tiger shark recorded was 687 pounds, caught back in 1997.
The organization that certifies records has not officially confirmed that Millauro is now in the top spot, but it looks probable based on the unofficial weigh-in result.
Sharks of all types have been under scrutiny by environmental groups for years, with many experts expressing concern for the alarming rate at which they are being killed in some parts of the world. This is often due to “finning,” the process of harvesting the animals for their dorsal fins.
However, tiger sharks such as the one caught in Australia are not regarded as an endangered species. “In Australia, most sharks can be legally caught by commercial and recreational fishers,” that nation’s government explained.
“The Tiger Shark is caught regularly in target and non-target fisheries,” the MarineBio Conservation Society said. “There is evidence of declines for several populations where they have been heavily fished, but in general they do not face a high risk of extinction.”
Australia has a licensing system in place to make sure that its waters are not over-fished, and to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the outdoors as well.
It’s a safe bet that this boy’s apparent world record won’t be broken any time soon, but who knows … there are a lot of fish in the sea.
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