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Local fishing guides spot great white shark feeding on whale carcass off Maine

“I’ve been guiding full time since 1989, eight to 10 hours a day on the water, and I’ve never seen a great white."

Mark Jones, shutterbugs4charity.org

For almost half an hour, Steve Brettell found himself watching a great white shark feeding on a whale carcass off Drakes Island in Wells Harbor, Maine, Friday morning.

“I’ve been guiding full time since 1989, eight to 10 hours a day on the water, and I’ve never seen a great white,” Brettell told Boston.com.

Brettell, who had recently retired from his job as captain of a charter fishing boat, received a call from his good friend early in the morning, notifying him of the rare occurrence.

“I was about to pull my traps, and I get a call from a really good friend of mine. He said there’s a whale up here with sharks on it so I grabbed a photographer buddy of mine and went out, expecting to be too late, but [the shark] was still there,” he said.

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A few other boats had also arrived on the scene for the viewing, initially scaring away the sharks. After the crowd dissipated, however, one shark returned to feed on the remains of the dead whale.

Although initially they were unsure of the exact species of the shark, Brettell spoke with John Chisholm, an expert at the New England Aquarium, who confirmed that it was a great white. 

“It was a really cool experience that needs to be shared,” Brettell said. 

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