The Impact of the Film Jaws on Our Ecosystem
The iconic film Jaws has raised concerns about its effect on our ecosystem, as expressed by the renowned film director, Steven Spielberg.
The Director and the Author of Jaws Both Regret…
During an interview with BBC Radio 4 on Desert Island Discs, Steven Spielberg expressed deep regret regarding the impact of his film Jaws on the world’s shark population. He was not alone in this sentiment, as Peter Benchley, the author of the book that inspired the film, also expressed similar regrets and became a staunch advocate for shark protection.
Experts Say the Film Is Given Way Too Much Credit
Jaws has been criticized for sensationalizing and distorting public opinion about sharks, but experts argue that solely blaming the movie for the decline of shark populations is oversimplified. They highlight overfishing as the primary threat to these animals. Studies show that oceanic shark populations have plummeted by 71% since the 1970s due to overfishing, according to a journal published in Nature in 2021. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species reports that 75% of oceanic shark species are at risk of extinction.
A Film That Also Spawned Real Phobias!
Jaws not only had ecological impacts but also created phobias of sharks in many individuals. The film’s limited on-screen portrayal of the great white shark, mainly due to technical issues with animatronics, intensified the feeling of terror and contributed to squalophobia (fear of sharks). Phobia specialist Christopher Paul Jones noted that the film served as the foundation for the uncontrollable fear experienced by many shark phobics, particularly those who had never encountered a shark in the wild.
In conclusion, while Jaws is a cinematic masterpiece that evokes powerful emotions, it would be unfair to solely attribute the decimation of sharks to the film. Overfishing remains the primary cause for their decline.