Oldest Rockfish Ever Caught? Henry Liebman Reels In 200-Year-Old Shortraker Outside Juneau, Ala.

By Philip Ross on July 2, 2013 4:02 PM EDT

rockfish caught
A rockfish caught off the coast of Alaska last week was over 200 years old and weighed almost 40 pounds, making it a record-breaking catch. Pictured here is a large rockfish caught off the coast of Washington in 2007, one of the largest shortraker rockfish ever caught. (Photo: Creative Commons)

A rockfish caught off the coast of Alaska could be one for the history books, given that the fish was 200-years-old when Henry Liebman hauled it in from the depths of the North Pacific Ocean. And at 39.08 pounds, Liebman's rockfish could also be the largest of its kind ever hauled in, breaking a previous record of 38.69 pounds for a shortraker rockfish.

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"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 guidebook that was on the boat," Liebman told the Sitka Sentinel.

Liebman was fishing in 900 feet of water 10 miles from the coast of Sitka, the Sitka Sentinal reports. The insurance adjuster, who is from Seattle, plans to have the prize fish mounted.

Troy Tidingco, Sitka area manager for the state Department of Fish and Game, told the paper that the longevity record for shortraker rockfish is 175 years. Liebman's fish is 25 years older than experts initially believed rockfish to be.

According to Live Science, the oldest living animal ever found was a 400-year-old quahog clam hauled in from the waters off Iceland. Scientists believe animal longevity is linked to the size of the animal, with smaller individuals within a species usually living longer than bigger ones. "This may be due to the abnormal cell growth that accompanies both larger body size and the risk of cancer," Live Science reports.

Read more from iScience Times:

Blue Lobster: Elusive Neon Shellfish Captured By Fisherman In Nova Scotia, One In 2 Million Chance [PHOTOS]

US Government To Retire Over 300 Laboratory Chimps, Animal Rights Groups Praise Decision As A Win For Our Closest Living Relative [VIDEO]

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