Just in case you are tired of my bear, eagle, and sea lion stories....we have not talked much about salmon sharks, like the one we dissected a few Sundays ago. No, there is no need to worry: they don't eat people! And I can think of 2 reasons: 1) Their mouths are small and 2) While the water temperature has already risen to a balmy 44 degrees (and willl probably get above 50), few people get in the water araound here. Yes there are surfers, and divers, and those who fall out of their kayaks; but not too many. In our disection, they only found small fish in the stomach.
These sharks get enough fish to eat, and who would eat red meat when you can have all the fish you want to eat ???
While they don't attack us, some people (not Kodiakians of course) like to go after them for fun. The first year I got here, there was an article in the Anchorage newspaper about people who where hoping to have them hook on to line thrown form their kayak. Remember that those guys weigh well over 400 pounds and soeme are wider than a kayak. The thrill seekers said it was a real treat to have them bite hook, take off and pull their kayak for a mile or so. But in case they get going too fast, be sure to have a knife ready to cut the line. Its called a "sleigh ride".(I know that a Sunfish sail boat will dive like a submarine if the wind is behind you and it is too strong and you go over 7 mph; I'd be concerned that a kayak might do something similar, but don't really know!) In any case, I hear these shark like to suddenly dive deep in an effort to losen the hook. So have your knife ready!
I haven't heard more about them doing thrill riding. Maybe they got smart. But there are people from the lower 48 coming to the Kenai for some shark fishing.
Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKjS5irBAG0
As far as eating these shark, remember to carefully cut off all the red meat and bring in only the white. Apperantly these sharks have a red layer of muscle with a tremendous amount of blood vessels, to keep them warm in our cold waters. And that extra blood in their red muscle give it a horrible urea smell and taste.
Check out a fishing charter site and compare their mouths to your body and their body length to your's too. Interested in doing some fishing when you come visit?
But if you want to be spared thier pictures, this is what they say:
"If you want to experience the ultimate hook and line sport fishing in Alaska then you have to try Salmon Shark fishing in Prince William Sound (PWS). These large 6 to 10 foot, 300 to 400 pound sharks follow and feed on the various species of salmon entering PWS each year. Salmon Sharks are in the same family of cold water sharks as Mako and Great White. They are excellent food quality (when properly prepared) and sometimes compared to the taste of swordfish. Several of our clients have compared the fighting power, speed, and leaping ability of PWS Salmon Sharks to that of Blue Marlin around the Cabo area. Marlins, on average jump more often, however the Salmon Sharks commonly display extremely powerful runs of hundreds or up to a thousand yards, diving all the way to the ocean floor, often times, many hundreds of feet deep. One shark several years ago, pulled a tightly set drag on a Penn 50SW 2-speed reel for 17 minutes straight, taking over half the line (approximately 800 yards), before breaking off. Another shark pulled drag on a Penn 9/0 for so long that the drag washers started smoking! Another shark several years ago ripped an Okuma 50 2-speed reel right off the rod, breaking all four stainless steel mounting bolts (this was our customers tackle, not ours). On average it will take from 20 to 40 minutes to land one of these sharks. The shear power of the Salmon Shark, along with dozens of razor sharp teeth, and skin similar to 80 grit sandpaper require only the highest quality tackle be used to catch this magnificent creature."