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?
allison on February 09, 2013:
such a great passage it was interesting to read and im so facinated by sharks now
pippa, again on September 25, 2012:
bettiecurl this is pippa again, in a small project 2day i did this,
Obviously the shark is hunted and caught by humans, which is most tragic, the Great White has been responsible for only 65 deaths worldwide since 1876, where as cancer, car accidents and murder takes thousands more lives, we are in their territory, 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 sea is the sharks home and a home is aplace to feel safe and secure, and nothing should be able to change that. Also if a strange man with a knife entered your house, and you are under a threat, you have the right to defend and kill, if necessary, in self defence. -btw i got an A :)
me and a friend are starting a save the sharks project because we are desperate 4 all culling and future culling of sharks to stop, we are going around to shopping centers and our school class rooms giving speeches on great white sharks hopefully raising money 4 green peace and stuff like that.
SAVE THE SHARKS, THEY DESERVE A SAFE HOME -IE. SEA- AND A NATURAL, LONG LIFE!!!!!!!!
the GWS is my fave animal, it always has been, its pure power and strength, and so agile i have always wanted to go cage diving im gonna beg mum 4 christmas!
(sorry if i kinda got a bit of info from the start of ur article, its amazing)
pippa age 12 on September 24, 2012:
Finally someone who understands! what you have said is all true and i understand and believe every word of it, thank you for understanding that each life counts whateva kind, and the sharks home is the sea and we need to respect that as theirs.
thank you bettiequrll
diver on April 30, 2012:
I Love this article I have been diving nearly 20 years Australia south africa were I ran into great whites and I have to strongly agree with sharklover
They are amazing!!!
Best method to deal with a shark is an electric stick it is non leathal and any shark I dealt with took of like a torpedo. Best part no one got hurt I'm alive sharks alive that's a winner.
kammy powell on February 14, 2012:
bobby on February 14, 2012:
i like it
mako sharks are the best on February 06, 2012:
beautiful! i love learning new things about animals that are made out to be killers, but really if you were in the shark or any animals shoes that you would do the same thing to protect what you own and what you stand for.
sharklover on April 11, 2011:
Sharks are DA BEST !!!don't you hate how people kill sharks because they think they are cool but really the sharks are the cool ones !!! :)
sharklover on April 11, 2011:
SHARKS ARE AMAziNG!!!!!!!! I LOVE THEMMMMMM
john michael on November 12, 2010:
i love it
bettiegurrl (author) from Portland, Or on August 09, 2009:
Of course if you're bleeding they will attack you silly. :)
nonny126 on August 08, 2009:
it is interesting how you say they are not killers if you are bleeding in the water they will attack you but nice work any how better then mine =)
Laurel from Germany on June 27, 2009:
Great article! It's so nice to see something that truly explains what wonderful creatures sharks are, rather than the killers they are made out to be in the media.
sunshine amanda on May 08, 2009:
i have always been fascinated with sharks as you! i love them! i have spent hours apon hours convincing mt friends that they are not man eaters! ha ha.
they really are one of the most beautiful interesting and amazing creatures on earth!
oh... and another funny fact that always seems to get people when i tell them is that you have a higher chance of being injured by a toilet seat than being bitten by a shark!
jjrubio on March 06, 2009:
This is a great hub!
bettiegurrl (author) from Portland, Or on June 18, 2008:
Exactly. It's not the animals that are the problem, it's the people. Complete morons. I don't always use the common sense I was given but sometimes I wonder if Im one of the last people on earth to actually use my head. Im glad Im not the only one.
talented_ink from USA on June 18, 2008:
This is pretty interesting and since my daughter has me on a discovery channel/ national geographic/animal planet kick, this is right up my alley. It is pretty ridiculuous how some people will go into an animal's natural habitat and get surprised when the wild beast does something wild and attacks them.
Constant Walker from Springfield, Oregon on June 17, 2008:
That, I would watch.
bettiegurrl (author) from Portland, Or on June 17, 2008:
Absolutely. Id like to see these big, bad hunters go out and hunt without a rifle. Now that would be interesting to watch.
Constant Walker from Springfield, Oregon on June 17, 2008:
Great hub. Loved the pictures. I hope you've were watching the incredible "Shark Week" series on Discovery. It was always interesting.
Hunting sharks just for the sake of hunting and killing is wrong, just as wrong as it is to hunt any other animal for "sport." And to call it a "sport" is rediculous. It's only SPORT to go after the animal WITHOUT a gun, bow & arrow, net or any other weapon. These odds are even. That's sporting in the very sense of the word. To hunt down and kill an unarmed creature with a deadly weapon is an act of cold-blooded cowardice. Plain and simple.