Awareness and education is crucial to change perception of sharks from one of fear, to one of appreciation and respect for the beneﬁts that sharks provide to ecosystems and economies. Despite the unwholesome reputation that great white sharks have acquired since 1975’s Jaws, they pose very little threat to humans. Statistically you stand around a 1 in 3,700,000 chance of being killed by a shark and, rarer even still when you consider that shark numbers are falling globally every year.
The practice of shark ﬁnning occurs far oﬀshore away from reaches of enforcement vessels. Fins are cut oﬀ the sharks, often while they are still alive and the rest is thrown over board. Unable to swim properly, they suﬀocate or die of blood loss from their huge wounds—marine equivalent of elephant or rhino poaching. South Africa has a ban in place for shark ﬁnning, however, the country should consider implementing a ﬁns attached policy across all of its ﬁsheries. Along with having custom oﬃcers who can identify species being traded so, shark species under threat don't get overﬁshed.
So I ask you, are sharks the really monsters?