A “monster shark” is in the news again. Much like the previous “monster” shark reports, this one can apparently change size at will (or at the will of whatever particular media outlet is reporting the story). Unfortunately, this shark was killed by fishermen. Even more unfortunate is that Vic Hislop has purchased the shark’s carcass.
The supposed “monster” this time around is a hammerhead (presumably a great hammerhead, based on its size), which is being reported at various lengths. The Daily Mail reports that the hammerhead shark weighs “one and a quarter tonnes” and is “20ft long.” Most other outlets are reporting the shark to weigh 1,200 kg and measure 5m (approximately 16′) in length. Researchers estimate the shark to be forty years old.
Various media outlets have reported that Hislop potentially will put the shark on display at his “museum.” However, MSN NZ quotes Hislop as saying, “I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do with it.”
Hislop’s purchase has drawn criticism from some researchers and conservationists, including the Australian Marine Conservation Society. According to Australia’s ABC News, Ben Birt, a campaigner for the society, said that the specimen would be better off in an accredited museum to be used for research and education. Birt noted that shark would not likely be used in a positive manner at Hislop’s attraction.
According to the Courier Mail, Hislop had some “chilling news.” He claims that this is not the largest hammerhead he’s seen. “I’ve caught bigger,” said Hislop.
I’m not sure whether the implication was that Hislop’s statement was chilling due to the fact that larger hammerhead sharks exist or that Hislop was out there killing them. Hislop claiming to have caught larger hammerheads is hardly outlandish compared to some of the other statements that I’ve read from the man. However, it makes me wonder why he purchased the carcass of a hammerhead that was caught by somebody else, when he has personally caught larger ones.