On March 11, an angler hooked a rare fish: a 300-pound albino blue marlin. The animal was released alive, and photos of the encounter may be the first recorded images of an albino blue marlin, according to the Billfish Report.
It was about 1 pm, during a charter fishing trip on the 42-foot boat Spanish Fly, run by Maverick Yachts and Maverick Sportfishing Tours out of Los Sueños Resort and Marina in Herradura, Costa Rica. At the helm was Captain Juan Carlos Fallas, aka “Juanca.”
First Mate Carlos Espinosa Jimenez, aka “Pollo,” spotted the rare white fish in the water, alerting long-time charter clients Bob and Karen Weaver from New York. Karen then wrestled the fish on the line for a reported 2 hours and 45 minutes, while Bob shot photos. According to Maverick:
The skill, endurance and dedication of Karen Weaver is testament to her years of fishing experience. Using 30lb test line and a #7 circle hook she landed a “10 to 1” on line test, and the fish had her by over 200lbs. Quite a feat for any angler, and a lifetime memory!
The captain of the Maverick fleet, Daniel “Danny” Espinosa, said in a statement, “These people have been fishing for years, and calm and professional action by the angler and the crew was necessary to land such a unique fish. I am certain that the marine biologists would have loved to get their hands on this fish. While the fish is lost to science, she remains in the sea where she belongs.”
The fish was released, and Karen was presented with a fiberglass replica, titled Karen Weaver-Maverick Albino Blue Marlin.
Since the animal was not examined by a scientist, it is unclear if it was a true albino (reduced melanin) or whether it was leucistic (a reduction in all pigments).
Brian Clark Howard covers the environment for National Geographic. He previously served as an editor for TheDailyGreen.com and E/The Environmental Magazine, and has written for Popular Science, TheAtlantic.com, FastCompany.com, PopularMechanics.com, Yahoo!, MSN, and elsewhere. He is the co-author of six books, including Geothermal HVAC, Green Lighting, Build Your Own Small Wind Power System, and Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater.