Growing up, I enjoyed Shark Week. As a young person, I didn't read into it much and was hypnotized by these sleek powerful survival machines.
This year, I indulged in "Blood in the Water", which recounted the bloody summer of 1916 that inspired "Jaws", i.e. "The Massacre at Matawan Creek" and the attacks on the Jersey shoreline. In all honesty, I found the true story to be far more disturbing than Jaws - not just because it was real but because humans were so out of their element that summer. When you put it into perspective, there's a difference between having Quint the shark hunter onboard (one of my favorite movie characters of all time) and living in a time when nothing was understood about these creatures, including the idea that they could actually
Like any kid growing up in the 80s (especially in Florida where my mot
As a massive fan of the movie theater experience, I must say of all my hundreds of unique cinematic experiences, watching Jaws with a live audience is still my favorite. I used to sit in the back of the theater at revival screenings in Los Angeles and watch the crowd move in sync and terror. All these years later, Jaws remains one of the most perfected films of all time per audience reaction. Every single note or beat Stephen Spielberg and John Williams created sent shockwaves through viewe
A demand for shark fin soup is also on the increase as is shark cartilage for medicinal purposes, especially in Asian countries. The popular belief is that
orld has severely suffered due to the role of the media and Shark Week is certainly a large contributor to arguments against sharks, not pro-species. One walks away from watching Shark Week with a sense of fear and terror and not a deep understanding of this mysterious creature. While there were a few shows dedicated to learning about the habits of sharks, the majority were exploitative features on shark attacks, which seemed non-stop. From watching the week, one would think sharks were out for our blood attacking us every chance they get. The sheer panic of the programming and the constant floodgate of dramatic recreations and gore were sure to bring in ratings, the desired effect. I was disappointed by the hypocrisy of the occasional shark commercial randomly thrown in to r
They are a vital part of our ecosystem and as the ocean's top hunter, a necessary part of the food chain. Shark decimation affects every creature in the ocean and affects the natural order and balance of the undersea world.
A few shark facts we can sink our teeth into:
You are 1,000 times more likely to drown in the sea than you are to be bitten by a shark.
About 100 people in the world are bitten by sharks each year. Of these, five to ten die.
The chance of being killed by a shark is one in 300 million. The chance of being killed by airplane parts falling from the sky is one in 10 million.
(sharkfacts.org)"Great white sharks kill and inju
In fact, hundreds of thousands of people die a year from dog bites (No one ever thinks twice about letting a dog into their home) yet you can count the number of shark-related human deaths a year on one hand. More people are killed by vending machines a year than by Jaws!
It's important for people to let go of their superficial tendencies and quickness to believe what they hear relating to these creatures that really aren't all that interested in human flesh. (Clearly, the human fear is mostly psychological, sharks embodyin
So, what do you d
While you should
I grew up in the Shark Tooth Capital of the World so it's not a surprise that I realize their importance (Kudos to anyone bored enough to look it up). Every year, the Sharktooth Festival is celebrated in my hometown and there's no shortage of teeth and souvenirs. However, the shark is quite revered in town as it should be across the globe where they make important contributi
A great documentary to watch is Sharkwater: The Truth Will Surface, the 2006 documentary release that goes into great detail about the shark fin industry and the perils all sharks in our oceans face and the horrid statistics on the decimation of the shark population, particularly since the film Jaws was released as well as the implications of these actions. Also, the filmmaker challenges us to rethink our preconceived notions of sharks by putting himself at the helm and swimming in shark-infested waters just to prove his point that they aren't anywhere near the monsters of public perception (the footage of him swimming and petting wild sharks is pretty awe-inspiring). This film rips Shark Week in half while providing you with beautiful photography and a new found appreciation for these increasingly rare populations.
I encourage Shark Week to be consistent in its message and to vote in favor of shark conservation and run more specials and programming in defense of sharks instead of dramatic accounts of rare events. I'd love to see a documentary like Sharkwater make it's way onto next year's lineu
FYI: While it wasn't common knowledge in 1916 in America that sharks could kill a human (even the foremost 'shark experts' in the country were in denial), a few images made their way right along with mythological monsters in books, art, and tales to demonize the creatures, before the advent of modern media, such as the famous painting "Watson & The Shark" (1778), based on