Fish Are Friends, Not Food
"Fish are friends, not food" according to Bruce, a prominent member of the shark community. Bruce was a great white shark featured in Disney's Finding Nemo. Bruce in the film tried to organize a shark support group for sharks who did not wish to follow their instincts and eat fish. Even in the promotional images of the film, where humans are the ultimate villain, Bruce, a great white shark, is portrayed as the villain of the film. Sharks are a type of fish which human are fascinated by. Sharks are often portrayed in the media and in films as dangerous, violent, and unpredictable, this image is not only wrong but it is ultimately dangerous for sharks.
"Finding Nemo Poster"
Cape Cod in recent years has become a hot spot for great white shark sightings. The local media often causes hysteria around these appearances while local beach communities shut down beaches, even though a fatal attack hasn't been reported in the Cape Cod area since 1936. There is a 1 in 3,700,000 chance of dying from a shark attack.
In Australia, eleven percent of all news articles are related to sharks. Sixty six percent of all shark related articles in Australia can be perceived as being negative. Fifty eight percent of all shark related article published in Australia are about shark attacks. Despite evidence that many shark species are at risk of extinction, most media coverage emphasized the risks sharks pose to people. To the extent that media reflects social opinion it highlights problems for shark conservation. But to add on this sharks are seen almost entirely as aggressive primitive beings, as for people in Australia refer to them as "Symbolic of nature in its most aggressive and destructive form."
Shark Week is an annual television event on Discovery Channel, which prides itself on being the World's #1 Nonfiction Media Company. However, recently some of their documentaries have been criticized for not being entirely factual and portray sharks as being more dangerous and violent then they actually are. "While sharks kill twelve people world wide in 2011, humans killed an estimated 11,417 sharks per hour that year." It is widely believed by conversationalists that Shark Week negatively impacts the image of sharks and causes people to ignore statistics on the harm humans do to sharks.
Sharks in Film
Sharks and Hollywood
Hollywood has always been a cinema paradise. When Steven Spielberg’s Jaws came out in 1975 it turned heads and opinions. People at the time were so afraid of Jaws they were terrified of taking baths, let alone go into the ocean. Jaws created hysteria among beach goers and created a new genre of slasher flicks, shark movies. Jaws had three sequels and many other shark related films started being created. In these films the shark would often be the antagonist or villain. Sharks are often presented as being vicious predators and as serial killers when most sharks don't attack humans. When sharks do attack humans it is because they mistake a human for being a different creature such as a seal.
For the world to think that sharks are mindless killers is a very common thought. Americans and Australians along with the rest of the world we see sharks in a negative light because of the media and films depict sharks. On top of the media aiding in people not getting over our fear of sharks but making it worse by showing us their destructive power.
Sharks in Commercials.
At 10:10 in the video above it shows how many companies have used sharks in their campaigns. In these campaigns they present sharks as violent, mindless creatures that crave any kind of flesh they can find. Often Sharks are used in food commercials too prove that even their hunger can be satisfied by whatever product is being presented. Probably the most shocking commercial is from the Tampax campaign. Tampax is a company that produces and sells tampons. Tampons are used to absorb blood from a period. The campaign includes a shark attacking a girl because her tampon leaked. Another ad in the campaign depicts a woman floating near the surface of the ocean while many sharks swim underneath her without disturbing her. This depicts sharks as creatures that will attack anything if they believe they are bleeding.
Sharks Like to be Petted- Jim Abernethy
Jim Abernethy is a shark conservationist who studies and films sharks for a living. One of the activities he regularly engages in on a regular basis is removing fish hooks and other debris from sharks bodies. He has discovered that sharks are like other types of animals and seek affection through touching. In the video above Jim can be seen petting some of the most "dangerous" sharks in the world with no fear of being harmed and no signs of aggression from the sharks.
In the recent years we have seen nothing as great as the series Sharknado. This series included five installments to the wonderful series where unlike Shark Week it focuses on the more goofy side of sharks .Where they can be used for violence but they can be used for entertainment not just for horror but funny terrible downgrade movies.
We all have our favorite animal that we love and cherish and I bet the shark is not on the top of most peoples list. But an animal that constantly gets negative attention is bad for it will lose its home and inevitably get forgotten. Sharks get bad publicity and in return they get no help being saved.