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Trio tailed by shark near Harbour Grace while cod fishing

This blue shark followed a group of Harbour Grace residents taking part in the recreational cod fishery for approximately 45 minutes Sunday morning.
This blue shark followed a group of Harbour Grace residents taking part in the recreational cod fishery for approximately 45 minutes Sunday morning.

HARBOUR GRACE, NL — A trio of Harbour Grace residents out to catch some cod on Sunday morning had an unexpected guest tagging along.

Paul Short estimates the shark was about eight feet long.

Paul Short, Raymond Fahey and Mandy Verge were on a boat taking part in Newfoundland and Labrador's annual recreational food fishery near their home community.

"(Raymond) was hauling in a fish and he had a bit of trouble, so he suggested to me … I give him a hand," Short recalled when speaking to The Compass Tuesday. "As I went to give him a hand, I looked down and I'd seen the fish coming down alright, and it was a big fish."

As it turned out, someone else had an eye for that big fish.

"The shark come right up and grabbed the fish and the hook and went on — bust his line," said Short. "In the meantime, my rod was fishing and I had (cod) on my hook, so I started reeling mine in, and (the shark) started following my fish. He came right up to the surface chasing my fish."

This blue shark managed to get Paul Short's line caught in its mouth after snatching a codfish.

Short, who is retired from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and spent a lot of time working with research scientists, never before found himself this close to a shark. He believes it was a blue shark and approximately eight feet long. It followed them for close to 45 minutes.

"He continued to follow my fish right up to the surface, and he kept on coming up and going under the boat and going around," said Short. "Then he come right up … He looked up at me. He had the lure in his mouth. I couldn't get it out of his mouth."

The shark did not hit the 20-foot speedboat at any point, and the three of them still managed to haul in 15 fish that day, despite its presence.

editor@cbncompass.ca

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