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.
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