In fact, besides mini rants on the shark bios, complaining about how Australia hoards all the cute sharks (um, hello, Port Jackson shark)… I was lost.
B&N was not much help, since all fish books there were related to North American waters… which, you know, makes sense. So I took it upon myself to figure out exactly what sorts of critters I might face while there.
The Māori, Polynesians and sharks
According to Māori mythology, the demi-god Māui sent the shark Te Māngōroa to the sky, forming what we know as the Milky Way. Therefore, sharks and rays (and all other sea critters) were children of the ugly god, Punga.
That’s not where the shark’s role ends, though. In fact, there are many legends that go back to sharks. The Polynesians thought of sharks as guardian spirits. (Some Hawaiian families had an aumakua, or shark protector.) If a waka (canoe) overturned, those in danger would call upon Ruamano, a mako shark, to bring them to land.
Māori warrior battle cries even included references to sharks, such as: ‘Kia mate uruora tātou, kei mate-ā-tarakihi’ (let us die like white sharks, not tarakihi fish).
What lies beneath New Zealand waters?
A few of these animals will have a link back to previous Sarasota Fins shark/skate/ray bios. If not, we’ll know what’s on our list for weeks to come- to educate you AND ourselves!