Research group hooks 2 great white sharks near Va. Beach

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Great White Caught Near Sandbridge

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A research group studying shark populations in the mid-Atlantic hooked two sizable great whites near Virginia Beach on consecutive days.

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science posted about the catches on Facebook — which happened Thursday and Friday, respectively, at two different stations for the institute’s Longline Survey.

On Friday, an 8.5 foot immature male white was hauled-in 6 miles east of First Landing State Park.

Another great white was hooked much closer to the shore — about 3.5 miles off of Sandbridge. At the same time, researchers also caught a 4 foot spinner shark.

The great white was estimated to be 12 or 13 feet length, and reportedly made “a mess” of that station’s line. According to the Facebook post, this was “one that got away” as researchers were unable to get the shark aboard their boat.

The Multispecies Research Group has several of these longline stations scattered between the southern end of the Eastern Shore and just off the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Each shark that’s caught is measured, sexed, tagged and released, according to the institute.

Results from the group’s survey are used by multiple agencies, including the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

Researchers say this survey — which was established in 1973 — helped bring attention to shark populations that were declining because of overfishing.

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