A dead goblin shark. A live specimen was caught and released April 30, 2014, in the Gulf of Mexico near the Florida Keys. / @WhySharksMatter Twitter Page
A fisherman hauling in his nets Wednesday near the Florida Keys came face to face with one of the rarest and ugliest sharks in the sea: a goblin shark.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration Fisheries Service Facebook page:
"A shrimp fisherman accidentally caught an 18 ft. goblin shark off the Florida Keys.
"NOAA biologists are working with the fisherman to collect important information about the shark, a known deep water species. Shortly after capture, the shark was released and swam away. Biologists encourage people to call and report these rare sightings and catches as the information they can collect allows them to know more about a species."
NOAA says it is only the second goblin shark of record in the Gulf of Mexico.
Some have been seen in the Atlantic off the coast of Guyana, Surinam, French Guyana, France, Madeira, Senegal, Portugal, Gulf of Guinea and South Africa, according to NOAA. Goblins were recently recorded in the U.S. off the coast of California and in the Gulf of Mexico near Mississippi.
The NOAA notes that few specimens have ever been caught, making it one of the rarest species of sharks - but we doubt too many people are complaining.
Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com
Read the original story: Watch out! Rare goblin shark caught off Florida Keys