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Chip Michalove is known as the “Shark Whisperer” in South Carolina fishing circles. Michalove, who used to fish for sharks for sport, has become one of their protectors and now works with shark advocacy groups, like the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, to catch and tag great whites for study.

“Most of the best fishermen out there aren’t killing (sharks) anymore, they’re working with scientists,” Michalove said. “And if they do (kill sharks), they don’t get respect. You can’t respect someone who has no respect for the ocean and how it works.”

Michalove has actually become an advocate for all sharks, doing his best to end “kill tournaments” that actually target shark species.

“The process and method I’m using is putting such minimal stress on the animals,” Michalove said about catching great whites, an obsession that took him 12 years to figure out. “I go above and beyond to make sure these sharks swim away as healthy as possible. I need them out there making babies and being comfortable in the area so I can study them more.”

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And the above video demonstrates that, as he reeled in a mammoth 2,400-pound great white estimated at 14.5 feet. That’s not a small shark. He wasn’t able to tag this one but his catch shows the health of the great white shark population in the southeast, especially during winter months. “The fact that they are still here (this late), at least one, is a good sign,” he said. “Our population is booming.”

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