When a baby great white shark—still about four feet long—with a fishing hook in its mouth washed up on Venice Beach in California, a local man held it down, removed the hook, then dragged it back into the surf so that it would have a shot at survival.

What a cool story. I wish more people were that enlightened.

Unfortunately, it pales next to this Daily Mail story about Florida charter fisherman Mark Quartiano, who boasts about having caught and killed some 100, 000 sharks.

‘I tell people that I have hunted 20,000 sharks but that doesn’t include the pregnant ones that I have fished.
‘Last week I caught two Tiger Sharks that had 90 babies between them.”

Tiger sharks, by the way, are endangered.

Quartiano says that he won’t be daunted by animal rights protestors who go home and eat shrimp and steak, calling them “hypocrites.” That is, of course, self-serving idiocy. There’s an enormous difference between eating farm animals and slaughtering endangered species—most of which kills, I’m sure, aren’t even eaten.

Here’s a picture of Quartiano with three four sharks. I can’t identify the one on the left or the baby whose mouth Quartiano is propping open. But the one in the middle is, obviously, a hammerhead, and the one on the right, that creature of once-astonishing beauty, is a thresher shark. None of these sharks attack humans (not that that would justify fishing for them anyway).

Killing 20, 000 to 100, 000 sharks? For entertainment and profit?

I don’t know how some people live with themselves.


And to the AP writers and Daily Mail editors who write and publish this crap? Can you please stop glamorizing these people who capture and kill sharks? Frankly, it’s not that hard and it’s not that courageous. You’re well-protected in a boat with lots of weapons, and by the time these sharks get hauled onboard, they’re mostly dead anyway. This guy’s not a hero to be romanticized, and these sharks aren’t “man-eaters” or “monster fish.” They’re beautiful, rare and important animals, and someday, I hope, there will come a time when we look back at people like Mark Quartiano and wonder, What were we thinking?