July 6, 2011
So-So Shark Press
This Time article is the kind that may pull at heart strings, but it is flimsy on scientific backing. And the author fails to report anything new. Which is too bad. Given the space and opportunity to reach hundreds of thousands of readers, he missed the mark and did not press the most important message: the oceans need sharks, we need the oceans, therefore, we need sharks. It's bad enough that he blames Steven Spielberg for 'Jaws' (Peter Benchley is responsible for its penning), but he blames him for 'indelibly imprinting sharks as killers', and potentially influencing young Chinese. Lame, far-reaching, and untrue. Spielberg is hardly responsible for the decades of global overfishing and abuse that sharks have endured. And Benchley became a vocal advocate for shark conservation post-'Jaws'. It is true that Sharkfin soup is a major contributing factor to the sharks' demise. But we can also point a finger at the fisherman who, while not breaking the law, still elected to bring a dead shark into his local marina. Yes, global governments are responsible for failing to see the larger picture, and read the writing on the wall: without united intervention, sharks may be doomed. But who put those governments in place? We did. We elected them. So the fate of sharks is no just in the hands of the government and conservationists like Yao Ming, it is in all of our hands.