Sunday, September 14, 2008

Frank Mundus: the end of an era

A legend in the world of shark sport fishing, Frank Mundus passed away recently at the age of 82. In the early 50's, Frank came to Montauk, at the east end of Long Island, New York, and built a reputation as a leader in shark sport fishing - catching blues, makos and, with the popularity of Jaws in the 70's - great white sharks. With a blunt, salty Northeasterner's personality, Frank was considered the model for the Jaws character, Quint, although author Peter Benchley was said to deny it. While shark conservationists might rightfully abhor his legacy for catching so many sharks, in the end he was a reflection of the times.

In later years, he came to view sharks differently but, befitting his personality, he made no regrets for the life he lead.
And that's fine. He was a colorful character and we have since learned more about the critical importance of sharks in the ensuing years, so let us just wish him a safe voyage and hope that we are saying farewell to the passing of any era.


Tea Rose said...

I love your blog! I am also concerned about the enviroment, and I'm glad to see I'm not alone.

Shark hunting is a terrible thing, but I can't bring myself to hold it against someone who is already dead. We must hope that times are changing, like you said.

Anonymous said...

regarding Frank Mundus,before you judge read his comments on Shark tagging,Jack Casey,retired NMFS biologist from the Sandy Hook Marine Lab,credits Mundus for being one of the first fishermen to start tagging Sharks back in the 60's at Lab's request.

RTSea said...

I was aware of Frank's efforts in his later years - as I mentioned, he was a reflection of the times and while he always carried a label as the ultimate shark fisherman, one which he does not shirk (, his efforts over time to support those who were actively interested in protecting these animals were helpful. Unfortunately, the public's perception of him and the sharks themselves has persisted. Thanks for the update!