Monday, March 7, 2011

Death by Media...

  In 1975 the outlook on sharks forever changed thanks to Steven Spielberg's hit movie "Jaws". Jaws was a film about a  Great White Shark that was out to kill every human who entered the water. The movie trailer alone tells the story..
 "There is a creature alive today, who has survived millions of years of evolution, without change, without passion, and without logic. It lives to kill. A mindless eating machine. It will attack and devourer anything. It is as if God created the devil, and gave him Jaws!"

After the film was released, people were scared to go into the water. Men begun going out in boats to kill any and every shark they could find. Who would have thought a "sci-fi" movie would create such a panic and lead to the killing of billions of sharks. But that's exactly what happened. Many people feel that the only good shark, is a dead shark.

  Despite what people believe sharks are not mindless killing machines. More people die annually from dog bites, then shark attacks. In fact, you are more likely to die from a bee sting then being attacked by a shark. In 2010 there were two fatal shark attacks in the US. One was in Florida and one in California. Two deaths out of all the people who went into the water. Two deaths when there are billions of sharks in US waters. Yet media puts so much hype into shark attacks that humans fear them more then any other creature in the world. Want some food for thought? Giving the amount of sharks in the water and the amount of people around them, in 2010 there was a higher percentage of humans killed by an orca in captivity then those killed by sharks in the ocean.

  Over 75 million sharks are killed every year. Most of these sharks are killed for their fins, to make shark fin soup. These sharks are normally caught, their fins cut off, and then the live shark is thrown back into the water to die. The fins are then taken back to port, dried, then shipped all over the world. But not all sharks are killed for this reason. Many die in nets that are set up to "protect humans" in swimming areas while others are caught as bycatch. It is believed that over 90% of all large sharks have been wiped out on the east coast of the US, and over 50 species of shark are listed as being a high risk of extinction.
   Why should we care? Sharks are apex predators and are the top of the food chain, they keep the marine life balanced. Without them the food chain would become out of control. Disease would likely spread due to the abundant fish population. The food chain would become strained, and eventually all levels would be effected. The Oceans will die, and so will we. Please read my post Why the Oceans for more info on why saving our Oceans are so important.

Did you know...
  •  sharks have lived on the planet for over 400 million years
  •  a bowl of shark fin soup can run over $100 a bowl
  •  a basking sharks pectoral fin can sell for $250,000
  •  certain energy drinks, lotions, and lipsticks contain shark products
  •  rock salmon and white fish is actually shark meat
  •  some leather is made from shark

 It is time we stop hating sharks and start protecting them. They have existed 100 times longer then man, yet it is man who will decide their fate.  Please educate yourself and others of the sharks battle to survive.

1 comment:

  1. I love Sharks, and I want to help them, everyone is doing such wrong things. But I love Jaws the Movie. Jaws isnt what changed the outlook of sharks. The Summer of 1916 New Jersey Coast summer did. Its what inspired Jaws, and it was what opened humans into the world of sharks. During that summer, the first recorded shark attacks happend in the world. Jaws is a masterpeice, and that is not what causes such fear. The 1916 attacks were terrifying because then nobody knew a thing about these beautiful creatures.