Shark!

Posted on May 9, 2015 in Taonga | 0 comments

A Great White shark jaw hangs on the wall in the ship wing at the Russell Museum. It comes from a shark caught near the Whangamumu whaling station in the 1927-8 season. The fish was cruising just off shore hoping for some tasty titbits sluiced from the slipway. Some of the station hands pushed off to interview him and he was harpooned. He measured 20 feet 9 inches and weighed half a ton according to Captain Bert Cook, head of the Whangamumu whaling operation, who gifted the jaw to the museum.

As well Cook descendants have gifted whalebones, harpoons, lip knives, a blubber spade and whaleboat rowlocks to the museum.

This specimen is still one of the largest caught in New Zealand waters.

The photo shows Mr Munro, Russell’s baker in the 1920s, posing with the shark jaw hung up to dry in the garden of Cook’s Pacific Hotel (Hananui).