A blacktip shark can grow to be about 2 meters long. Pixabay, public domain

Would you be brave enough to save a shark in need? One man in Florida was, after he saw a blacktip shark with a fishing line and hook stuck through it.

According to a video on ViralHog, the marine hero is named Adam and he was fishing for jacks and bluefish with a couple of friends at the beach when they “saw a shark struggling in the surf” and rushed over. The guys freed the shark and dragged it back into the water, where it swam off.

A National Geographic story says blacktips have run-ins with humans often, because they nurse pups in shallow waters during their mating season. “Because so many can be found in and around Florida,” the magazine says, “scientists suspect that they can be credited with the majority of shark bites, though a fatality has never been recorded.”

Read: How Many Sharks Are Left?

Blacktips can grow to be about 6.5 feet long and get their name from the black tips on their fins, according to the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, part of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Their backs are dark gray, blue-gray or “dusky bronze” and they have a “light, conspicuous wedge-shaped band or Z-shaped line on [their] sides beginning near [the] pectoral fins, gradually widening rearward to [the] pelvic fins to merge with [the] white on [their] belly.”

The sharks were one of various Atlantic shark species that suffered huge population declines between the late 1970s and the 1990s — as a result of overfishing and in part due to a backlash against sharks that has been attributed to the movie “Jaws.” Larger species like the blacktips were hit hardest, because they are more attractive to fishermen and at the same time produce fewer offspring than smaller sharks. But a recent study shows blacktips are on the rebound. Seven types of sharks were measured in the study, six of which were found to have made population gains since NOAA’s National Marine Fishery Service began regulating shark fishing in 1993.

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