steven spielberg decimating the shark population

Steven Spielberg Apologizes for Decimating the Shark Population

In a BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs interview with Steven Spielberg, the director apologized for decimating the shark population following the movie “Jaws.” According to the director, he is still haunted by the outcome of his movie and the fear it created in people. He fears that “sharks are somehow mad at me for the feeding frenzy of crazy sports fishermen that happened after 1975.”

Before the movie “Jaws” came out in 1975, people were not as aware or scared of sharks. There was also little support and research done to study them. During the Cold War, the Navy used “shark chaser” to help deter sharks. These shark deterrents did not work and ceased to be used by 1974. The same year the novel “Jaws” by Peter Benchley was released, followed by the movie a year later. The release of the book and movie started a shark-fearing frenzy and sparked shark trophy killings.

After the release of Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” the shark population diminished. All over the world, fishermen were killing sharks for trophies, and people were experiencing galeophobia. Since 1975, the shark and shark ray population has decreased by 71 percent. Over 100 million sharks are killed yearly for trophies, shark fin soup, jewelry, leather, cosmetics, and pet food.

Shark Research after Jaws

While the movie “Jaws” brought on new fears and decimated the shark population, it also helped researchers get more funding. In 1987, the first season of Shark Week was released. It was supposed to help people learn more about these magnificent aquatic animals and diminish their fears. Shark Week is an ongoing yearly TV program that has helped researchers discover new details about sharks.

Since the release of “Jaws”, there have been over 150 different shark movies made. While most depict sharks as human-hungry villains, the reality is that they don’t like how we taste. Do you think Steven Spielberg is responsible for decimating the shark population? Do you think he should donate all his wealth to shark conservation and research if he is genuinely sorry?

jaws movie poster

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