The scariest truth about sharks is that they are under threat from us and we could lose them from the oceans. Sharks are an ‘apex-predator’ meaning that they are at the top of their food chain and as such, have a vital role in the eco-system.
Sharks kill around 10 people per year, whilst people kill around ONE HUNDRED MILLION SHARKS every single year but many people do not seem to care because mainstream media continues to report them as monsters – mindless killing machines that are just waiting for you to get in the water so they can gobble you up.
The actual truth of the matter is that we’re not even on the shark’s menu – we don’t taste good to them. Our blood is not as oily as a fat blubbery seal or an oily fish so from one taste, the shark knows we’re not good for it.
Which brings us to the second part of the problem: sharks have dominated the oceans for millions of years without needing to evolve thumbs. Instead, sharks interact with objects in the water by having an exploratory bite. Unfortunately, for you or me, because the shark’s teeth are so sharp, this could lead to us bleeding to death. It’s even more unfortunate for harks as a whole as another story breaks about monsters from the deep when really, it was probably only investigating what appeared to be a very strange fish. So Sharktrooth would argue that most, if not all, of those fatalities are probably accidental on the sharks behalf.
Today there are TWO TERRIFYING SHARK STORIES! in the news.
One is the story of a great white off the coast of Kent in England and one is the story of a shark encounter whilst cage-diving (for sharks).
The first story of the great white is probably not even a great white. Basking sharks, which are large but harmless plankton eaters, are frequent visitors around Britain and the fin profile in the picture is far more similar to that of a basking shark. But basking sharks aren’t sexy and JAWS is – so they have chosen to speculate about it being a great white in order to generate more interest, clicks, shares, revenue.
The second story is far more dramatically covered – almost to the point of hysteria. You can read the article in full here – it was written by Jay Akbar ( @JayAkbar13 on Twitter ) and Sharktrooth is saddened by this type of story about sharks. The truth is that Hillary Rae Petroski went cage-diving to see great whites in South Africa and filmed her experience. Jay Akbar’s article is written as if she was lucky to escape with her life. The article uses phrases such as:
- “Face-to-face with a monster”
- “Terrifying footage”
- “the terror of coming face-to-face”
- “the monster thrusts its snout into the cage – its jet black eyes clearly visible”
- “clamping its razor-sharp teeth”
- “about to be ripped apart”
- “screaming frantically”
- “the monster diverts its attention – and titanic jaws”
In Sharktrooth’s opinion (and that of many other people interested in sharks), this was a perfectly safe, guided tour in which the shark decided to investigate the cage to see if it was anything edible. The people on board the boat were probably attracting sharks with bait (which is usual practice) to get them close to the cages so that people could see them. This is an extremely large, heavy and powerful animal. If it had meant to damage the cage in any way – it would have suceeded.
You can find lots of footage of people swimming with great white sharks, and other sharks, without incident on YouTube. People are genuinely not a food-source for sharks but reporting like this perpetuates the myth that sharks are terrifying monsters.
Sharktrooth hopes that you will spread the word that sharks are fascinating and wonderful creatures and ignore mainstream media in its attempts to thrill, shock and, ultimately, sell stories and advertising space – because while they are chasing the money, an animal vital to the oceans is being rapidly wiped out.
Jay Akbar – we hope you read this and you change your opinion on sharks before reporting on them again. We also hope you go on to read lots more about the real truth of sharks and we would recommend that you and anyone else visit the following sites: Thank you.