A 2,000-pound female great white shark is making waves in the UK press after it was announced her journey across the Atlantic Ocean might take her into British waters. With her newly-gained celebrity, the shark is also drawing the attention of a famous British angler. According to The Metro, 70-year-old Zyg Gregorek said that he will find, catch, and release the great white into safer waters if the shark does reach the United Kingdom.
“I know I’m no spring chicken but I’m confident I could take it on—it would be like fighting a miniature bull but I’ve got all the experience behind me to do it,” Gregorek told the Express & Echo.
In 2008, Gregorek made history when he became the first to ever attain three different saltwater “Royal Slams” in his lifetime. A Royal Slam, as defined by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), is when an angler catches all IGFA-recognized species in a certain category. This feat—which took 18 years to complete—included nine species of shark, 10 species of billfish, and eight species of tuna. IGFA president Bob Kramer once called Gregorek the “world’s greatest fisherman.”
“He is the first and maybe the last,” Kramer told the Daily Mail. “These awards really are the considered the big one—the Holy Grail.”
Gregorek fought with great whites before. The angler previously caught and released a 1,300-pound great white near South Africa in 2000.
“When you’re out there battling with a shark you don’t have time to get scared,” he said. “It’s man versus monster, but adrenaline will keep me going.”
Despite the shark’s weight, the angler expects it be an easy catch—if he can find the shark.
Lydia, the name given to the great white, is being tracked by researchers at the OCEARCH center after she left the Florida coast roughly a year ago. Scientists believe that the shark is pregnant and her route may be taking her near the United Kingdom, although no great whites have ever been spotted there. If Gregorek finds her, the angler pledges to release her somewhere else where it is safer for both her and possibly British beach-goers.
Recent updates from researchers indicate that the titanic battle between angler and shark is unlikely to happen however. The shark turned north in the Atlantic and now seems to be heading past the United Kingdom and Ireland. That does not rule out a close pass though, as NPR reported that she is currently less than 1,000 miles from Ireland. The shark has traveled more than 19,000 miles over the past year.
You can see a video of Lydia before she started her journey below: