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Everything Wrong With “Jaws” and Other Shark Movies

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We have all seen the movie “Jaws” at least once in our lifetime. Some call it a classic while others call it cheesy. But regardless of what you think of the movie, everyone who watched it can say its left them feeling uneasy. All of the blood and the violence lead viewers to believe that sharks are these vicious creatures, only after blood, and once they get a taste of it they can’t get enough. But after reading this article maybe it will change your outlook on sharks. The movie “Jaws” was a major downfall for Great Whites and all other shark species. It made people who don’t even live near the ocean afraid of sharks. It demonized sharks. Ever since this movie came out, shark killing contests are run all over the world. On average between 20 and 100 million sharks are murdered every year. A lot of species are being driven close to extinction, others are endangered. The only species that are known for going after humans are bull sharks, tiger sharks, and great whites.

Shark attacks are fairly rare and even the incidents that have been reported are either cases of misidentification or provoked attacks. The silhouette of a surfer on a surfboard is very similar to the silhouette of a sea lion, and a sea lion is the main course in every great white’s meal. But provoked attacks are another scenario. A provoked attack is when a person is at fault for the shark’s behavior. For example, if a tourist tugs on a shark’s tail, the shark will bite out of defense. The unfortunate fate of these sharks is death. People believe that once a shark gets a taste of human blood it will only come back for more, so they hunt the sharks down and kill them to “prevent any more fatalities”. But most of these bites are test bites; meaning the shark wanted to try its meal before fully consuming its meal.however, even a sharks test bite can be fatal.

The amount of people killed every year by sharks is nothing compared to the number of sharks that are killed every year. Most of them get caught in the nets and are left for dead and drown, this is called “bycatch”. But others are less fortunate. Shark fin Soup first became popular in the 14th century but now it is much more common. Since the boom of shark fin soup, we have lost nearly 49% of our shark population. But what’s even worse is how they die. In the process of cleaning the sharks, all of the shark’s fins are removed then the shark is thrown back into the ocean. Since sharks cannot swim without fins and cannot breathe unless they swim (that’s how they filter the water through their gills), the shark simply floats down to the seafloor until it drowns. But not only are the sharks in danger, so are we. Sharks are apex predators, so their meat is filled with high levels of mercury, making their meat very toxic to humans.

If you thought Jaws was bad then think about recent shark movies like “The Meg.” It couldn’t have been released at a worse time. When films like this are made, it can change the way the people see sharks. When you are not from the coast, it can be hard to see the bigger picture, that is why it is important for people who are educated on the topic can tell others and make a change for our planet. What can we do to help? 1. Stop supporting fisheries. It doesn’t matter how much you may like fish but don’t support fisheries, you don’t know where your food is coming from. The shark meat could be disguised as another fish or the company could be guilty of bycatch 2. Be aware. If you know a local fishery is selling shark products please speak up and say something. Change won’t come unless we make it happen.

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Everything Wrong With “Jaws” and Other Shark Movies