Discovery! Help Raise Shark Awareness!

My personal campaign to raise shark awareness began when the entire community of hundreds of sharks that I was studying, as animals and individuals, were finned for shark fin soup, and when I tried to get help in protecting them, I came up against the Shark Week mentality, the mentality that declares that sharks should be slaughtered to extinction.

Yet sharks had turned out to be the most interesting and intelligent animals I had ever studied, so different from the way they are shown on Shark Week and other media extravaganzas, that it was hard to believe that they were the same animals I knew so well—sharks are simply not the dangerously stupid automatons that popular media will have us believe—they are not low, cold, and murderous monsters.

They are ordinary animals, thinking about the events in their lives and responding intelligently. By their actions, sharks reveal that they are self-aware, form companionships, make swift decisions depending on the circumstances, and can plan to influence an event in the future. They enjoy socializing, communicate through posturing and gestures, and are capable of influencing each other. They can become highly emotional, yet are peaceful among themselves. Unlike many other animals, including humans, they do not fight!

Yet, because of the way they have been presented in the media for so many decades, fish and sharks are treated worse than any other animals, though they suffer just as much, and the bias against them is not even recognized. If you are caught fighting dogs or chickens in Florida, you are guilty of a felony, but it is perfectly legal to brutalize sharks—fighting sharks is considered a prime entertainment. 

Due to the hatred raised against them by such shows, sharks and fish have not been protected by law from brutality, as other animals have. Yet they suffer just as much. They way sharks have been presented in the media has been lethally harmful to them.

The continuous diet of shark horror shows that is served up has raised a barrier to their protection, and allowed them to be brutally slaughtered by "monster hunters" with no public outcry of protest. People really believe that sharks behave the way they are presented on television, but they do not.

That is why I have followed up the many articles I have written about them with a book describing The True Nature of Sharks, and as part of this campaign, I invite Discovery to join us, and begin to show the viewers of Shark Week what sharks are really like.

Please join me in working on raising shark awareness, firstly by telling others about the problem, and sharing information with your social network, and secondly by denouncing the monster image whenever it comes up in discussions on the Internet, and tell others the truth about sharks. 


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