TRURO - A Crowes Mills native has published a book stemming from her coverage of the Yarmouth Shark Scramble over the years.
Carla Allen, who has been a reporter with the Yarmouth Vanguard for the past 10 years, has been covering the scramble since her career started and is fascinated with the creatures.
"I took the picture that's on the cover of the book in 2004 and it's quite a powerful picture," said the 54-year-old CEC graduate, regarding the picture featuring a 1,082-pound mako on the cover of ‘Shark On Line.'
"Somehow, the picture was shared through a chain and began circulating by email around the world."
Throughout the years, the picture turned into an urban legend, with its location of capture always changing to wherever the viewer was.
Growing up, Allen has always loved fishing, so covering the shark event on an annual basis was exciting for her.
"I remember growing up in Crowes Mills. I would go through a big field to a brook almost every day to catch trout, especially when there was good sea trout running. I remember the smell of the brook and the moss. I fished with an alder - I had a line wrapped around it."
The scramble takes place over three days and fishermen are allowed to catch three sharks each. Anything after that must be released back into the water.
Allen said the Bedford Institute of Oceanography and its Canadian Shark Research Laboratory use the scramble, as well as others in the province, to collect useful information on sharks.
"They dissect the sharks and learn a lot about them," said Allen, who devoted a chapter in the book on shark research.
Along with length, weight and sexual maturity, scientists keep data as to what's found in the sharks' stomach. Trends in the data collected can determine population changes.
Allen also included chapters in the book on the history of shark attacks, as well as the fad of finning.
"There's a drive now to stop that and I'm totally against finning," said Allen, adding finning is done when the shark is alive and then thrown back into the water.
Locally, ‘Shark On Line' is available at Masstown Market, Coles in the Truro Mall and Nova Scotia Emporium on Prince Street. She also donated three copies to the library in Truro, where she spent many hours as a youngster.
"It's been selling really well, but I was wanting to distribute it further than Yarmouth. It's just as hard to get it distributed as it was to write it. But this is the type of book that could be selling for years."