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The Inertia

Even though they’re an apex predator, life for great whites in the ocean certainly isn’t easy. It’s a struggle out there. Take this giant animal for example. Greg Vella, who lives in Osaka, recently posted a series of photos to the Facebook group, “Commercial Salmon, Albacore & Crab Fishers,” and “Deep Strike Sportfishing,” among others. They depicted the demise of a great white that had apparently died with a sea turtle in its mouth (no official word yet on whether that killed the fish but photos and eyewitness accounts certainly point that way).

“I was out commercial “ken ken” style fishing for tuna (Japan, Pacific Ocean side) [sic] when I heard chatter on the radio that there was a white shark swimming around with a big sea turtle in its mouth,” he wrote. “People started to joke about it, so I did not pay it any more attention. Then next day, it was found dead, near the bait receivers, tangled in some netting. The captains I interviewed who saw the mighty shark the day before, said it looked close to death as it could not dislodge the giant turtle. The commercial guys were bummed, as white sharks do not bother their commercial fishing, and most certainly do bother the things that eat our catch. The shark weighed 4,500 pounds.”

The Inertia reached out separately to Vella regarding the cause of the giant shark’s death: “White sharks , and hammerheads have been dissected , and have had sea turtles in them,” said Vella, a licensed captain who told us he’s spent his entire life in the fishing industry and now works as a photographer and writer covering fishing in Japan as well. “But this sea turtle was giant – the shark could not crush (or) bite through the shell, and it got lodged in the throat and mouth.”


The animal is obviously gigantic. The photos started to make the viral rounds immediately with over 9,000 shares on the social media site while a plethora of outlets picked up the story. The size of the great white alone is newsworthy. An average white is usually in the 1,200-2,500-pound range.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated with a comment from Greg Vella. You can follow Vella, who is obviously a surf fan, on Instagram, here.



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