Great White Sharks-Amazing Creatures!
Ever since I was a child and read the book Jaws and later saw the movie, Ive been fascinated by sharks, especially, the Great White. The media has turned these amazing creatures into monsters. They make you afraid to go into the water, for fear that you will become shark bait. This is the media, doing what they do best; sensationalizing something to get the results they desire. Great white sharks are not evil, murderous fish. They are beautiful and awesome creatures.
To date the Great White has been responsible for 65 deaths worldwide since 1876. With 242 recorded non fatal attacks worldwide. 65 deaths. Think about this for a second. How many people die each day in car accidents? Or from cancer? How about from drunk drivers? A lot more right? So why is the Great White so feared? I believe it is because the thought of being "eaten" by an animal so large can bring even the strongest man nightmares. While it certainly is a scary thought, it doesn't happen very often.
The shark lives in the ocean. If people didn't go into the shark's home, they wouldn't be attacked. If someone comes into your house with the intent to harm, you have the right to justifiably kill that person. Shark's are curious by nature. The only way they know if something is edible is to bite it. This is why odd things have been found in their stomachs, such as license plates. They bite everything. They honestly don't know a human being from a seal until they take a nibble.
One thing that has always disturbed me is that when there used to be shark attacks, people would go on shark killing sprees. If there is a shark attack, people get all crazy, get on their boats and go on a shark hunt with the intent to eliminate the "crazy beast" that hurt Uncle John or Aunt Susie. There are a few things wrong with this logic. One, how can they be sure they're murdering the right shark? Two, killing one shark isn't going to stop another one from accidentally tasting someone else. Three, the only place the shark can live is in the ocean. When a person makes the choice to venture out into the water, being attacked is a possibility that they are aware of. The shark is not at fault for doing what comes natural to it. Hey, they have to eat too.
Something I have always wanted to do is to go cage diving and watch the Great Whites from under water. I think that would be a rush like no other. It only costs about $900 for the day and you're pretty much guaranteed to see some huge sharks.
I am saddened when I read the statistics of how many sharks are killed each year. Either on purpose or from fishmen's nets. They wouldn't go out and kill neighborhood pets so why kill something that wont hurt them unless they allow it to? Education seems to be the issue here, or a lack thereof. People are so ready to swallow anything the media feeds them. If they tell you something is bad for you, it must be. If they say it will kill you, you become afraid. Shark's are something to be revered, not feared.
So the next time you decide to tread out into the ocean, remember that you're in the shark's home. Respect it.
Some Great White tidbits:
Although great whites have little commercial value, fishing for these sharks became a popular sport with big game fish anglers. The fearsome reputation of the great white has given it almost legendary status as an apex predator and they are often killed by humans for sport and for their jaws, teeth and fins.
Great whites are very curious and most so-called "attacks" appear to be motivated by curiosity rather than a desire to feed and most attacks on humans are not fatal. Ironically, the great white is far more threatened by humans than we are of them.
Great White sharks are now listed as vulnerable on the threatened species list.
More people die each year from accidents involving driving into a Deer than from being attacked by Great Whites.
The biggest threat to sharks is MAN. Around 100 MILLION sharks are killed every year. These sharks are killed not for meat but their fins. Shark fin soup is an oriental delicacy. The price for fins is high, which is why so many sharks are culled, they cut the fin and throw the shark alive back into the ocean to die. Nice huh?