While shark attacks do occur, they are extremely rare. Many people believe that since they hear of an attack on occasion, it happens regularly. However, the exact opposite is the truth. The extensive media coverage of each encounter puts out the idea that the public should fear every time they get into the water. According to The Canadian Shark Research Laboratory (CSRL), “Of the more than 350 species of shark in the world’s oceans, only a handful of them are even considered dangerous to humans…” Not every shark out there is a ravenous great white, and even they aren’t really that interested in you (sorry to say).
If anything, we are the ones that the sharks fear. Shark Finning is a relatively unspoken act where fishers take the shark’s fins and throw them back into the water to either drown, be eaten, or starve to death. The fins are primarily used in China to make the infamous “Shark-Fin Soup”. There, it is believed to gift good health/prosperity and is usually served on a special occasion or for luxury. Even though it doesn’t seem all too popular (or appetizing), it affects the shark population greatly.
As a result, sharks are friendlier than we think. Most encounters are mistaken as an attack due to the shark’s curiosity. We count on them to keep our ecosystem intact and exciting, while they take care of other prey species and make sure the food chain is unscathed.
Taylor, R. (2017, April 03). Sharks Are Not That Dangerous. Retrieved from https://owlcation.com/stem/Sharks-are-not-that-Dangerous .
Benson, M. H. (2018, May 14). 5 Reasons to Revere, Not Fear, the Shark. Retrieved from https://ocean.si.edu/ocean-life/sharks-rays/5-reasons-revere-not-fear-shark