BOLD: Whitewash, Cetorhinus maximus
(Basking Shark)

Scott Wallace, PhD
Senior Research Scientist,
David Suzuki Foundation

March 12, 2013

Basking sharks, the world’s second largest fish, have roamed the oceans in much the same body form as they exist today for at least 30 million years. They are a marvel of biological design, an animal the size of a bus specializing on consuming prey half the size of a grain of rice, a gestation period thought to be longer than any other animal on the planet, and the ability to traverse the largest expanses of the world’s oceans in mere weeks. It is difficult to believe that nothing in their evolutionary history has proved as perilous to their future as their recent experience with humans. Millions of years of perfecting their biological design only to be decimated over a time period less than a single human generation.

No population of basking shark has felt the wrath of humankind as severely as the one that once frequented the west coast of North America. There is no historical evidence that this species was ever revered or respected, thereby providing the societal endorsement for an uncontrolled eradication effort to eliminate a pest that was impeding the economic progress of our fishing industry. Its existence in our waters was scarcely known and its subsequent absence remains unmissed. Whitewashed.

If the second largest fish can disappear without public discourse, sadness, or even awareness, what does that mean for the millions of the other species comprising the fabric of our biosphere?

read more about this endangered species...
read more about the exhibition...

Opening May 22, 2014
Isaac Delgado Fine Arts Gallery
Delgado Community College, City Park Campus
Building 1, Third Floor
615 City Park Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70119

Exhibit dates are May 22 - August 28, 2014
There will be a closing reception and artist talk on August 28, 5 - 7 p.m.

Summer gallery hours:
Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The public is welcome and there is no admission charge. For further information contact Brenda Hanegan, gallery director, at 504-671-6377, or

Original exhibition curated by David Francis
Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA