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Sharks are not monsters
#1
Quote:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-42956475

I believe the message being spread by this article should be fully embraced as the violent image placed around sharks proves to be false. As my dream in elementary school was to be a marine biologist, I spent a lot of time reading books about the ocean. Sharks were definitely my favourite animal and it is very sad to read about how about 100 million sharks are being killed every year. Movies such as Jaws place villain-like characteristics on these sharks, however shark attacks on humans are not common and are going down every year. Humans are definitely not a shark's first choice for a meal, and therefore do not pose an immediate threat to us. Sharks have been on the earth for about 420 million years, but recent surges in killing for jaws, fins, etc. have classified sharks as a vulnerable species. Overall, I believe the message in this article should be spread as humans are more monsters to sharks than they are to us.
#2
(02-16-2018, 10:37 AM)gracemacdonald Wrote:
Quote:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-42956475

I believe the message being spread by this article should be fully embraced as the violent image placed around sharks proves to be false. As my dream in elementary school was to be a marine biologist, I spent a lot of time reading books about the ocean. Sharks were definitely my favourite animal and it is very sad to read about how about 100 million sharks are being killed every year. Movies such as Jaws place villain-like characteristics on these sharks, however shark attacks on humans are not common and are going down every year. Humans are definitely not a shark's first choice for a meal, and therefore do not pose an immediate threat to us. Sharks have been on the earth for about 420 million years, but recent surges in killing for jaws, fins, etc. have classified sharks as a vulnerable species. Overall, I believe the message in this article should be spread as humans are more monsters to sharks than they are to us.
I found this article quite interesting and nice to read. I agree with you and also believe that the message in this article should be embraced. Of course, because of movies similar to Jaws, many people have preconceived misconceptions about sharks and their nature. Sharks are believed to be vicious monsters that kill for the sake of killing, however, that is very untrue. In fact, it has been proven that many more people are killed by cows than sharks. Sharks are actually quite amazing, peaceful animals. For example, when you read of shark attacks on humans, the shark is not attacking the human just for the fun of it. Sharks, generally, do not come into contact with humans often and are curious. A shark may bite a human out of curiosity, to figure out what the human is- not to kill them. Sharks have killed very few people in comparison to people killing sharks. I also find it awful that over 100 million sharks are killed annually, a majority of the deaths caused by finning. Humans kill millions of sharks, even though they are endangered, just for their fins. The shark population is rapidly decreasing due to the unsustainable finning of sharks. Due to sharks being labeled as horrifying, violent animals, there are not as many people who advocate for shark conservation. I, too, once believed in the violent image created for sharks by the media. However, after watching the film Sharkwater, created and directed by Rob Stewart, I quickly changed my views. Sharkwater is a wonderful documentary that greatly relates to the message being presented in the article. In the end, I believe that this message is very important and should be spread, along with the conservation of endangered sharks.
#3
I think whether or not one may see a shark as a "man eating monster" or a "calm, peaceful and beautiful" really depends on the perspective of an individual. Like mentioned in the article, people's view of sharks being violent, impulsive and killers can be influenced by the media: movies, tragic news stories etc. However, I think it's truly human instinct to be afraid of things that have a upmost ability to kill. Like bears, for example, are mostly stand off-ish and even cute, even so, a lot of people will fear going near one. Sharks definitely are deadly and perhaps a reason why people who claimed to have reached an epiphany after encountering a shark in a cage is because their protection was most likely guaranteed. They were surrounded by a fairly spacious, strong metal cage that even if the shark attacked, they'd most likely be saved by their surrounding. Imagine if they didn't have a cage around them, would they still be safe? Would they feel more fear, which is completely normal from a human being? Like I mentioned with bears before, seeing a big bear in the wild would be scary, but would it be as scary if you saw it in a zoo? If we remove all the aspects of how careful we are when approaching sharks (cages, distance, etc.) then I understand why people would think sharks aren't scary at all. Sharks are unpredictable though and without that safety that's guaranteed, we would not know when and why they would strike. With that said, I think killing sharks just for a 'reward' like teeth or profit is wrong. We shouldn't kill animals unless for good reason. We eat cows and chicken because they will not go extinct and it's a pretty essential need for food. But if shark's population is decreasing and they are hunting sharks for personal pleasure, this should stop.
#4
As somebody who also watched Sharkwater a few years ago, I agree fully with the issue of the common misconception of sharks by the media. I believe that a big reason for this is that news companies always want the juiciest stories. An article about one of the 3287 people worldwide who are killed in car crashes every single day just doesn't get as much attention as one about the handful of people who were killed by sharks in an entire year. 1.3 million people are killed in collisions a year, 6 by sharks. Cars are responsible for over 216 000 times as many deaths as this "man eating monster". Once you get the numbers straight it becomes clear. Sharks just aren't deadly.

To me the saddest part about the shark industry is the waste. As the film Sharkwater brings to light, in the shark finning industry, most sharks are caught, have their fins removed, and are simply thrown back into the water to die. People barely make use of a fraction of the animal, and the rest goes entirely to waste. I worry that this could turn situations in the same direction as the bison who once roamed the prairie provinces. For years they were hunted for sport, wasted, and were killed by the thousands, but they almost went extinct and are now on the "near threatened" list only due to conservation efforts. Sharks are in serious danger with dozens of different species already on the endangered list. Once again, human industry has had drastic impacts on natural ecosystems.
#5
Upon reading this article and the reply's on this thread, I too, believe that the misconception that follows sharks and their 'deadly, violent nature' is completely unfair to this species of animals. Having grown up in a generation in which media and societal influence have a big impact upon what we deem to be important, I too as a child, before I became aware of the true nature of these creatures, was afraid of sharks. With movies such as Jaws, and 47 Metres Down, painting these animals as blood thirsty predators who have nothing better to do than terrorize humans, the general population of not only children, but also adults view these films as factual and real. However, I believe that the fear of sharks is completely irrational. It is more likely to be killed by a mosquito and the viruses it carries than to be attacked and killed by a shark. The belief that sharks are murderous by nature is just a case of 'mob mentality' and an example of how one thought or notion can see the demise of any animal. After the movie "Jaws' was released, there was an increasing number of people hunting and killing sharks just for the game, and no remorse was felt for these 'blood-thirsty beasts' because the fishers truly believed that they were doing society a favour by decreasing the number of sharks in the ocean. However today, I believe that since the general population, myself included, have more information about sharks available through the means of not only books, but also documentary films, the original media portrayed beliefs about these creatures should be forgotten, as a new, more open mindset should be adopted. I believe we owe sharks a second chance.
#6
After reading this article and the numerous replies along with it, I too have come to the conclusion that Great White Sharks are not as dangerous as the media portrays it to be. Heavily influenced by modern pop culture our society has created a general misconception about the behaviors of the entire species of sharks. Numerous movies have been made, "Jaws" being the most popular one, depicting sharks as "bloodthirsty", "man-eating" eating animals when in reality they can be peaceful and gentle creatures. We let ourselves be tricked by the stereotypes created in these films. The general media nowadays depicts apex predators, like the Great White Shark, as animals that we should all be afraid and that they're out there waiting to kill us. The reality is that the odds of getting attacked or injured by a shark are 1 in 3,748, 067, you are most likely to be killed by disease-carrying insects, like mosquitoes, or getting struck and killed by lightning which has a 1 in 79, 746 chance of happening. So instead of us either hiding away or hunting these animals down, we can get closer, interact and learn more about them.


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