Mysterious Shark Killer (Partially) Identified
Scientists have discovered a surprising culprit behind a rash of shark strandings in California and elsewhere, but many questions remain.
The leopard shark was still alive when it washed ashore on a San Francisco Bay mudflat a few hundred feet south of the runway of the San Francisco International Airport. A state game warden found it there, lolling in shallow brown water, dying.
The warden called the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation, a shark conservation group based in Monterey, California. The group’s executive director drove up, packed the now-dead shark in a cooler, and FedExed it to Mark Okihiro.
Okihiro is a California Department of Fish and Wildlife senior fish pathologist whose day job is to assess disease in white seabass hatcheries. But lately he has become, in his spare time, a leading expert on what causes sharks to die where