“I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food (Finding Nemo).” This child's movie has some accuracy in the sense of a sharks image must be changed in order for the “mindless eating machine” label to be taken away. There is one movie that deserves all the blame for this inaccurate labeling of sharks, and that movie is “Jaws.” Released in 1975, Steven Spielberg directed a movie that changed the minds of ocean swimmers forever.
A menacing great white shark decides that Amity, a small beach town, was ideal for its new feeding ground. Consuming everything in site, 3 men set out to kill this beast; a police chief, a scientist, and an old fisherman. As the movie takes the audience through the journey of tracking down the creature, this animal is portrayed as a terrifying monster. Watching “Jaws” petrified me when I was young. I know a lot of people my age who are still frightened of sharks because of this film. The movie “Jaws” defined the way people think about sharks, without a chance to stand up for themselves they were portrayed as the monsters of the ocean.
Sharks have the epitome of a bad reputation, with only a mouthful of teeth for an apology. It is this bias against them that attracts me to sharks. I understand that not everything in life is equal and fair, but for the consequences sharks must endure due to one movie is devastating and heartbreaking. The main reason behind all of the fear is unknowing.
When little is known about a topic it is human nature to instinctively dislike that topic. Sadly, the topic is sharks, and for centuries people have surmised these creatures into a bleak, unforgiving category. The suppositions do no benefit on the shark’s behalf. The effect of this is millions being slaughtered in cruel ways. Whether it is the fining for fin soup or the desire to have a large shark jaw, sharks are being killed at alarming rates.
Some people experience the scarier side of sharks, but throughout history it is a proven fact that beside four species of sharks; tiger, bull, oceanic white tip, and great white sharks, they are not killing machines. Their species however has been preyed upon for many years. The fear that is instilled within people shows up as the killing of millions of sharks to overcompensate. Thinking that if sharks were no longer around would somehow ease their fears.
Sharks have been around longer than any human. They are descendants of the dinosaurs that have survived what so many could not. If this versatile animal does not make it to the years ahead, then the earth is in for dire times. Sharks are an indicator about the state of well being of the ocean. If sharks are spotted in a particular area of the ocean we then know that this area of the ocean is healthy. Whereas areas where there are no sharks, the water usually unsuitable for most aquatic creatures.
My passion for sharks stemmed...