Waiting Anxiously for a Ping
From Our Local Shark Mary Lee
Excuse me for a second, but let’s give a shout out to a creature no one has seen or heard from since last year: Mary Lee, where are you? People are concerned, you know? They wonder if the battery of your tracking device has expired. Or it was just you who’s stopped running.
We’d totally understand, of course, but it’d make us terribly sad. You see, Shark Week came and went, your kind has been seen up and down the coast. Even a couple of crooks tried to steal a horn shark on a baby stroller in San Antonio, for crying out loud. But from you, not a beep.
Mary Lee, you see, is a 16-foot, 3,456-pound great white shark who’s been visiting this corner of the Atlantic for the past several years. Since she’s been tagged by Ocearch, tracking her swimmings have become the stuff of dream vacations to many. Florida, Bermuda, well, yes, the Jersey Shore.
Then, sometime before June of 2017, puff, silence, worry, and now, apprehension: is she still alive? Thus, plain calling out her name may just do the trick for bringing her back to our lives. All else has failed so far. Either way, she won’t be forgotten.
Our local shark must have won many battles, and the hazards of celebrity are certainly not of her concern. Still, the allure of the big fish never seems to phase out. Just the other night, Jaws was playing on a small bar. And the place would still get very quiet at times.
THE RUMBLE OF 300 TEETH
People feign fear of great whites (in the safety of land), but are actually obsessed by them. Surely way more than the small number of annual attacks would justify it. In fact, sharks face extinction, (more)
* Beneath the Waves
* The Whale Report
* Flipper Backlash
either for overfishing or for a thriving market for their meat, fins, and teeth.
About a 100 million is fished out every year which, let’s face it, even for an animal that’s been on earth for 400 million years, is unsustainable. Most of us never met anyone who can’t live without shark fin soup. Or whatever snack they reduce these formidable creatures to.
Considering that, perhaps they should actually eat more of us, not the other way around. But for as powerful and vital to the oceans’ ecosystem as they are, they’re no match to us. If they’re gone, it’d be the seas that would turn into an unappetizing soup. Jellyfish, anyone?
MARY MARY, QUITE CONTRARY
Interesting how in the 1960s, the peace and love era, whales were the ones people were transfixed by, and save them from virtual extinction. Now, however, is about sharks, and they’re either targets for thieves, or may offer valuable career advice.
But as it goes, there’s still hope for Mary: she may have gone to the White Shark Cafe. Scientists are intrigued about this huge Pacific area, halfway between Hawaii and Mexico, where hundreds of sharks have been congregating for the past decade, always around spring.
No one knows why, but they’re not there for the lattes. They’re apparently baffling behavior – taking dives all the way to the bottom of the sea every 10 minutes – show how little we know about them. Maybe Mary, whose age no one’s ever dared to ask, is also there, frolicking.
That’d make us happy. Still, as we were telling her, coming November, if you please, Mary Lee, head this way. We’re not promising, but maybe we may even be able to toss some traditional local snacks your way. You know, typical east coast fare at this time of the year: Cheetos and tanned rich people. But please, please, we beg you, come back.