March 27, 2013


Our guest writer today is Elliott A. Norse, founder of our partner organization, Marine Conservation Institute. ~ ed.

As an observer of the sea and its life, I always want to report on the latest ocean stories while they’re hot. Yesterday the media learned that a fisherman had found a two-headed pre-term bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas). Realizing that it had a most unusual perspective on the world, I managed to obtain the shark’s cell phone number and recorded the following interview.

Photo: Reprinted with permission from C. M. Wagner

EN: How do you want to be addressed?

Bull shark: We agreed to come out as what we are.  Heads matter more than bodies or tails, so we want to be addressed as SarahJean.

EN: How does it feel to be a shark?

Sarah: Fantastic.  I wasn’t actually born before making my media debut, but I can tell you it’s so cool watching other marine life running for cover!  I’m going love being an apex predator.

EN: Jean, how do you feel about being a shark?

Jean: With all due respect to my sister, it’s scary.  While in utero, I read that people kill huge numbers of sharks — between 63 million and 273 million per year.

EN: Bull sharks are among the most dangerous sharks to humans.  What would you like as your first meal?

Sarah: I’m really fond of fish, I admit.  I’ve heard flatfish are tasty.  I’m going to love young skates and rays, and I’ve heard that lionfish are delicious too.  Very exotic!  I’ll have a taste for carrion too.

EN: What about people?

Sarah: Too much trouble.  The rubber and metal are bad for my teeth.  And you guys are really vengeful.  Do you have any idea how many idiots think the actions of a few sharks makes us all bad?

Jean: I don’t eat people; eating people is wrong. In fact I don’t know what to eat any more.  So many things have been overfished now, or are caught and discarded by trawlers and longliners that I can’t decide what to eat.  What do you eat?

EN: Please!  I’m the one who asks the questions; you’re the story.  But since you asked, I eat only sustainable seafood.

Jean: Are we safe now, or are we going to wind up as dried fins in China?

EN: I wish I could answer that.  I wish I could.

By Elliott A. Norse, Founder and Chief Scientist, Marine Conservation Institute

Feature Photo of one-headed bull shark by Michael AW


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