Misbeliefs & misconceptions about sharks
by Cindy
in Blog
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Misbeliefs & misconceptions about sharks
Sharks are our friends, and probably our saviors

There are so many misbeliefs about sharks, and probably the first that will pop out in your head is “sharks are attracted by blood”. A survey in 2015 definitely closed this discussion. Indeed, searchers tried to attract sharks with human blood, by delivering liters in a shark zone in Bahamas and the reaction of the sharks was… inexistant! They did it again, at the same place, but this time with fish blood (barracuda) and then, sharks reacted immediately. They went directly to the source, they got excited, turned around, etc. So now you know, sharks are definitely not attracted by human blood !

Another belief is “sharks love to eat humans”. Well, it is as wrong at the first one. The sharks don’t like human flesh. They prefer fat flesh, that’s why most of the time when they attack human by mistake, they just bite and then release it and go away. It is also why they attack surfers by mistake. When sharks see a surfer at the surface, the shape made by their legs and the board made them believe it is a seal. And when the shark is confused, he can try to attack the surfer before he realized it is not a seal.

As a third misbelief I would speak about “we don’t need sharks”. This one is probably the worst one. Sharks are essential to our survival. They help preserve the balance in marine life, they eat the sick fishes, the weak fishes and by eating predators they also keep a balance in the ecosystem. As they are at the top of the food pyramid in the oceans, they eat predator like trevallies, and thereby they control their population. If sharks disappear, then a lot of species would lose their predator, this populations will grow too much and exterminate many small species like mullets, sardines, etc.

As the last misbelief I would like to speak about “sharks are killers, they are dangerous by nature”. The most dangerous animal for human is in fact the mosquito! Sharks don’t kill many people by year, it’s only overmediatised. If you look at the reality and the facts, you will be surprised that snakes, hippopotamus or even dogs kill much more humans than sharks each year! In fact, sharks are even not in the yearly ranking top ten animals that kill humans being.

Finally, now you come to ask “why sharks have such a bad press?”. Well, one possible answer is that it probably all started with the movie “Jaws”. The blockbuster created a real phobia and movement against sharks. The Writer of Jaws regretted his depiction of sharks and became an Ocean Activist, and Spielberg said he was to naïve on the ocean and too naïve on mother nature when he produced it.

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