Just yesterday, legendary South Florida captain Mark “The Shark” Quartiano posted the photo at left on his website. Look closely…that’s Rosie O’Donnell and her kids posing with a big, dead hammerhead they caught on a recent trip with Quartiano. Do I even have to tell you that the World Wide Web is now buzzing about the catch (click here for details) and the antis are sticking to Rosie like flies on barbecue sauce?
As someone who does a fair amount of shark fishing, I commend Rosie for getting her kids involved in the sport. I’ve been on the boat several times when a young’un hooks into a feisty brown shark or blacktip for the first time. They talk about the experience a lot longer than their first bluegill. I also don’t know very many moms that would be totally cool with their kids sharking, let alone taking them out to do it. So good on ya, Rosie.
In my opinion, that shark should have absolutely, positively been cut loose at the boat. Had it been, I’d be nominating Rosie for “Mom of the Year.” I’m not even going to harp on the conservation angle that much. Yes, there are some shark species in danger of overfishing, but responsible recreational anglers operating within the law are not, in my opinion, going to hurt the population like commercial shark finners. My gripe is that hammerheads are not food fish. I understand that doesn’t mean you can’t eat one (you can eat a dog turd if you want), but I have yet to meet an angler in all my travels that has mentioned hammerhead on the table, or targets them specifically to kill for food. Like most species, hammerheads urinate through their skin, giving the meat a terrible ammonia taste. The exceptions are mako sharks and threshers. Next time, Rosie, go look for one of those if it’s shark tacos you crave.