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Record setting fish caught in Alaska predates US purchase of Alaska from Russia
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- Experts believe the fish may be over 200-years-old
- The 42 inch beast smashed the old record fish length, by more than eight inches
By Ryan Gorman
PUBLISHED: 23:07 EST, 1 July 2013 | UPDATED: 02:01 EST, 2 July 2013
A fish believed to be at least 200-years-old has been caught in Alaska.
A 39.08-pound rockfish caught by an insurance adjuster from Seattle on June 21 is also believed to be the oldest fish ever caught in the state, according to a local media report.
Henry Liebman reeled in the record setting catch from a depth of about 900 feet, and learned of his achievement when he brought the beast ashore.
Caught: Sport fisherman Henry Liebman caught a rockfish measuring 104 centimeters and weighing 39.08 pounds, it may also be well over 200-years-old
'I knew it was abnormally big [but I] didn’t know it was a record until on the way back we looked in the Alaska guide book that was on the boat,' Liebman told the Daily Sitka Sentinal.
The ancient monster measured 41 inches, smashing the old record, set by a 32 and a half inch guppie, Troy Tidingco, Sitka area manager for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, told the paper.
With the 32 inch minnow being over 200 years old, Tidingco said there is reason to believe Liebman's catch is even older.
'That fish was 32 and a half inches long, where Henry’s was almost 41 inches, so his could be substantially older,' Tidingco explained to the paper.
Beast: This record-breaking rockfish's birth may predate the US purchase of Alaska from Russia - in 1867
The fish returned to Seattle with Liebman, who told the paper he plans to have it mounted. A sample was also sent to a lab in Juneau, the state capital, to help determine its age, reported the paper.
Should the fish's age meet expectations, it would predate the US purchase of Alaska from Russia, which happened in 1867. Sitka, according to the local historical society, was the site of the ceremony commemorating the transfer of Alaska from Russia to the US later that year.
Though unusually large, Liebman's catch
isn't the biggest fish ever hauled out of ocean. That distinction
belongs to a bluefin tuna hauled out of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast
of Nova Scotia in 1979. Caught by sport fisherman Ken Fraser, the big
tuna weighed in at a staggering 1,496 pounds, Fraser even wrote a book
about the catch that he sells on his personal website.
The largest known fish in the ocean is the whale shark, according to National Geographic. The mega fish has been known to grow to lengths of 40 feet - as big as a city bus - and average over 20 tons in weight. Discovered off the coast of South Africa in 1828, the whale shark usually lives around 70 years, according to FishBase.