This Angler Passed Up A World Record To Save The Life Of The Shark He Caught

Here's a serious contender for feelgood story of the day: An angler on a fishing trip to the Turks and Caicos passed up his opportunity to set a new world record because he didn't want to have to kill his magnificent catch, reported marine-scientist blog Southern Fried Science. Michael Roth, an attorney from Scranton, said he'd a red and orange fly to catch the blacktip shark that weighed in at more than 120 pounds — more than 40 pounds heavier than the current International Game Fishing Association record of 77 pounds.

In order for Roth's blacktip shark to take the record, he would have had to abide by International Game Fishing Association regulations, which require the catch to be weighed at an official weigh station. To do this, Roth would have had to kill the shark.

“While I would love to be a world record holder, the thought of killing this beautiful animal was completely abhorrent to me,” Roth told David Shiffman of Southern Fried Science. “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.”

Roth's also a huge contender for today's "don't try this at home award." We're sure most people wouldn't feel comfortable getting as up close and personal with a shark as Roth did in this incredible photo — remember, the shark is still alive. But with more than 50 years of angling experience under his belt, if anyone knows what he's doing, it's Roth. What a legend.