Farewell to Sharks Because of Mass Slaughtering (And Yes, That’s a Bad Thing) By Bryan Walsh / Sharks are not True Killers, We are!


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http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2081466,00.html?hpt=hp_c2

EXCERPT

Steven Spielberg has a lot to answer for — most recently the senses-shattering Transformers: Dark of the Moon, for which the Hollywood great somehow served as an executive producer — but his greatest sin may have been the damage he did to the public image of sharks. His 1975 megahit Jaws didn’t just usher in the era of the summer Hollywood blockbuster; it indelibly imprinted the concept of the shark as killer, as the enemy of man. (And John Williams, who wrote that chilling theme music: you’re not blameless either.) People who had never so much as waded in the ocean became convinced that sharks were a menace, better off dead. As a kid paddling in the New Jersey surf — where I was probably more likely to encounter medical waste than any shark — I know that’s how I felt.

In reality, unlike in the movies, unprovoked shark attacks are extremely rare, and fatal ones even more so. According to the International Shark Attack File, just six people worldwide were killed by sharks last year. But human beings haven’t returned the favor. Each year, fishermen kill as many as 73 million sharks, usually cutting off their fins — which are valued for shark-fin soup, a popular dish in Asia — before tossing the bloody carcasses overboard. Tens of millions of other sharks likely die each year accidentally because of fishing gear set for other species. As a result, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimates that as many as a third of all shark species are threatened or near threatened with extinction, including the great white. Sharks aren’t the true killers — we are.


TO BE CONTINUED ON THEIR WEBSITE
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2081466,00.html#ixzz1RLbooPzd


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