While many fisherman are only out there for the “big catch” it turns out that there are still some who see the true beauty in leaving the fish in the water.

Longtime fisherman, Michael Roth, has traveled around the world in pursuit of different fish, and was amazed at one find on a recent trip to the Turks and Caicos.

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According to Southern Fried Science, the largest blacktip shark species caught, according to records kept by the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA), was 77 pounds. They share that, “Roth estimates his blacktip weighed more than 120 pounds,” and marine biologist David Shiffman agrees, writing  that it “would have easily set a new world record for this line class.”

However, in light of the fame that such a catch would surely bring him in the angler community, Roth had a change of heart and returned the animal to the sea. He did not wish to kill it in order to take it to an official weighing station, and we’re sure the shark is glad of that.

Roth explained to Southern Fried Science that, “while I would love to be a world record holder, the thought of killing this beautiful animal was completely abhorrent to me. I felt so fortunate to have hooked and landed this spectacular fish. Killing it was always out of the question. Releasing this fish, and for me all fish, to keep the species healthy is a top priority for me. I always encourage all anglers to catch and release.”

While it’s also an option to simply not catch at all, Roth’s decision in this case is definitely still a respectful one.

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