Color us sentimental, but this 10 foot, 1,200 pound basking shark that washed up on Long Beach deserved better than Jaws theme that scores this PIX11 segment on its death.
"William Pesack has all of his body parts," the anchor narrates, before cutting to Pesack's admission: "I work here, I don't go in the water, I know there's sharks in the water."
Basking sharks are the second-largest fish in the sea (whale sharks are bigger) and average 25 feet in length. They're filter feeders—they swim near the surface to strain thousands of gallons of water each hour to catch tiny zooplankton with tiny teeth. Very little is known about their reproductive habits, but females don't reach sexual maturity for 12-16 years. They're passive and beautiful and goofy-looking when their mouths open.
Basking sharks feeding in HD from Dan Burton Photography on Vimeo.
Naturally, Humans killed way too many of them until various international fishing bans in the late 1990s strengthened their numbers. Still, the World Conservation Union considers them "vulnerable" overall and "endangered" in the northeast Atlantic.
This basking shark may have been injured by a passing boat. Pesack, who works on the beach patrol that removed the shark, has the last word: "I feel sad for the fish. It's the ocean. It should be alive."