HALIEWA, Hawaii — Two shark researchers who came face-to-face with what could be one of the largest great whites ever recorded are using their encounter as an opportunity to push for legislation that would protect sharks in Hawaii.

Ocean Ramsey, a shark researcher and conservationist, told The Associated Press that she encountered the 20-foot shark Tuesday near a dead sperm whale off Oahu.

The event was documented and shared by her fiancé and business partner Juan Oliphant on social media.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said it was aware of photos of the great white and that tiger sharks also have been feeding on the whale.

Oliphant, who photographed the now-viral images, said it’s unclear if the shark is the famed Deep Blue, believed to be the largest great white ever recorded.

Ramsey said she has been pushing for a bill that would ban the killing of sharks and rays in Hawaii for several years, and hopes this year the measure will actually become law.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.