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Great White Becomes a Great Pain to Dispose Of

May 29, 1988|SHERYL STOLBERG | Times Staff Writer

The 13-foot great white shark that a San Pedro fisherman snared caused quite a sensation at Galletti Bros. Seafoods on Terminal Island, where manager Dino Lauro tried for a week "to get rid of that thing."

The 2,000-pound shark attracted a parade of onlookers into the Galletti Bros. freezer--restaurateurs interested in having it stuffed for display, taxidermists interested in doing the stuffing, and gawkers interested in simply inspecting the bloody beast.

But nobody seemed interested in buying it until the husband of a Rancho Palos Verdes woman who collects shark jaws took the great white off Lauro's hands last week for $500.

"In fact, (the jaws) are in my freezer right now," Sharon Redd said Thursday. "I'll display them in the family room."

Redd said she used to work at Marineland and collected the jaws of sharks that died there. When the amusement park closed last year, she fell heir to the collection, but it did not include the jaws of a great white. Her husband, Don, remedied that deficiency by buying the head of Lauro's shark. (Galletti Bros. disposed of the remainder.) Sharon Redd said the razor-toothed jaws are 25 inches in diameter.

He Was Hoping It Would Bring $1,500

Earlier in the week, Lauro lamented: "It's time to get rid of that thing. I'm tired of answering phones. It's taking away from my regular business."

With all the publicity about the shark's capture, Lauro initially expected it to fetch $1,500. Then later, he said, he was hoping to sell the head for $500 to a Huntington Beach taxidermist who expressed some interest, or perhaps reap $600 by unloading the whole carcass on the San Pedro Fish Market for display at Ports O' Call Village.

"I made them an offer just to take the fish for $600," he said, "because I'm getting sick of it right now."

Lauro said the meat would be dumped because many people have qualms about eating great whites. Besides, he said, the meat had become too old to sell or even give away.

The shark was snagged two weeks ago about 20 miles south of San Clemente Island in the gill nets of the Aggressor, a San Pedro-based fishing boat owned by Anthony Tipich. Lauro, who regularly buys thresher and mako shark from Tipich, was trying to sell the great white on behalf of his client.

As for Tipich, he could not be reached.

"He's hiding," Lauro said. "He's so tired of this. He's worried about getting the rest of the fish sold instead of that damn white shark. What a pain."

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