What experts believe is one of the largest white sharks in the world — and the largest filmed to date — visited Hawaiian waters this past weekend. The shark is believed to be a massive female nicknamed Deep Blue when encountered in 2013 off Baja’s Guadeloupe Island, measuring more than an estimated at 18 to 20 feet.
It’s worth nothing that the largest fish ever taken on rod and reel was Alf Dean’s white shark off Australia in 1959. That fish weighed 2,664 pounds; it measured less than 17 feet, so Deep Blue could weigh far more.
Judging by her girth, she could exceed 3,000 pounds. That girth included a swollen stomach that could be attributed to the feasting that she, like many large tiger sharks, had done on a sperm whale carcass floating offshore of Oahu this week. But some shark experts speculate that Deep Blue is pregnant as well.
As amazing as the shark itself are the images and video taken by free divers with One Ocean Research & Diving, who swam with the fish for a period, often touching its fins or tail. In video, the shark seems completely unconcerned and uninterested. One of the divers commented that Deep Blue made the tiger sharks that had seemed very large as they bit chunks from the whale appear petite in comparison. Those same tiger sharks scattered in a hurry when Deep Blue showed up.
White sharks aren’t common in Hawaiian waters, which tend to be warmer than their ideal.
One Ocean Diving, based in Oahu, is deeply involved in shark conservation.