That man-eating shark from Jaws may be fictional, but that doesn’t stop people from believing that sharks are out to get us — even though it’s not true at all.
Chris Neff, a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, gave this talk at TEDxSydney about his research on the politics of shark attacks. In it, he identifies the three main misconceptions when it comes to shark-human interactions:
1. Sharks do not “attack”.
2. Rogue sharks don’t exist.
3. People don’t always react negatively to sharks following a shark bite.
Stories of sharks biting humans are uncommon, but get a lot of media attention when they do happen and are often sensationalized. A recent increase in shark accidents in Sydney, Australia prompted calls for a massive culling of the shark population.
But the thing is, sharks aren’t attacking humans maliciously. As Neff says, “trying to govern ungovernable events distracts us from real shark bite prevention.” Instead of killing even more of these important predators, we should be restricting areas where humans can swim and dive and changing our own behavior to prevent future accidents.
Because when it comes to sharks, “we’re in the way, not on the menu.”
- Ocean News: Barbuda Becomes Ocean Conservation Leader in the Caribbean, July Ocean Temperatures Hit Record Highs, and More Posted Tue, August 19, 2014
- Dusky’s Big Adventure, Day 4: Dusky Creates “Dusky’s Bucket List” to Save His Species Posted Thu, August 14, 2014
- CITES Listing Countdown: Less Than One Month until Manta Rays are Protected Posted Wed, August 20, 2014
- CEO Note: Progress for Sharks Posted Fri, August 15, 2014
- Photos: Oceana’s Balearic Expedition Confirms Need for Expanded Marine Protected Areas Posted Tue, August 19, 2014