SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Sacramento man is getting a lot of national attention after he was featured during Shark Week after discovering not just one, but eight new species of sharks.

San Jose State researcher Paul Clerkin spent two months on a commercial fishing vessel in the southern part of the Indian Ocean. It’s an environment where researchers don’t spend a lot of time.

As the crew would get rid of sea creatures they couldn’t sell or eat, Clerkin would go through them. That’s how he discovered eight new, never-before-seen shark species.

His discoveries got the eyes and ears of the marine biology world, and two years later, the Discovery Channel became interested in him.

“They asked if I was doing anything, and I said you know I’m always trying to go back,” he said.

And so he did, but this time with a Shark Week photographer. he spent another 60 days at seat this year.

“Kind of a dream come true. I watched Shark Week as a kid, and I would say how cool are these guys they get to go study sharks,” he said.

And now he’s one of those guys, featured on an episode of Alien Shark this week.

Clerkin will now get to name the newly discovered creatures of the sea. Most of them will likely originate from the discovery location or the physical characteristics of the sharks, but he’s hoping to name one of them after his mom and his research advisor.


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