Shark Fin Soup
What has happened to all the shark hysteria? A bloke gets his arm bitten off and a mother loses her only son, both to the jaws of these fearsome predators of the deep, yet all and sundry are calling for the offending shark to be left to its own devices, without fear of punishment or retribution because “the ocean is its domain” and we humans are merely guests (and possibly hors douvres).
Long gone are the days when a death at the hands of a shark would result in said fish and all of his fearsome friends within an unreasonably large radius being hunted down and hung, drawn and quartered as a show of the strength of humankind. It is we, after all, who belong at the top of the food chain and god help anything that challenges our authority.
Personally, I am shit-scared of sharks. I’d quite happily see them all shot, speared or even savaged for their fins by merciless Chinese fisherman intent on making a motsa from hawking them to the medicine man with the great red nation wrapped around his little pinkie.
And I thought I was part of the majority, but clearly this is not longer the case. So why has everyone all of a sudden decided to take the side of the sharks? Have the greenies really gotten into the minds of such a great proportion of our population?
On a recent deep sea fishing adventure down south to the seaside hamlet of Narooma I began to sympathise with sharks for the first time in my life. We set out onto the deep blue in search of tuna, kingfish and anything else hungry enough to take down a colourful plastic contraption booby-trapped with a barrage of razor sharp hooks.
Little more than an hour into our expedition one of the reels began to fizz as the braided line stripped from it at rapid pace. Something big was clearly on the other end.
After an hour-long battle with the beast, we began to see colour and were able to identify a young two-metre bronze whaler fighting for its survival. Over the course of our epic duel I gained a respect for the shark and upon finally bringing to the boat it I felt it only fair that we let the relatively little guy go. But before I could voice my intentions the boat’s captain had gaffed it, landed it and inhumanely clubbed it to death with his son’s Louisville Slugger. For some reason I was distraught.
Despite my disappointment (which I hid for fear of appearing ‘soft’) I was goaded into posing for a photo with the ‘man-eater’ by my bloodthirsty mates. As I reluctantly crouched down and grabbed for the snout of the shark to unveil it’s razor sharp teeth to the probing cameras, the seemingly deceased fish used its final gasp of breath to swiftly turns its head and bite down upon my fingers.
While I writhed around in pain my mates compared the candid shots they had caught at my expense. Needless to say, my sympathy for sharks expired at almost exactly the same time as the life of my quarry.
So to all those people who go in to bat for sharks, I say stuff you – the less sharks and the more hysteria the better. And with that said, I’ve got a date with a few of my fishing buddies and a bowl of shark fin soup at Golden Century!