“Get out of the water! “Monster shark movies slay shark conservation – ScienceDaily


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Undeniably the shark movie to end all shark movies, the 1975 blockbuster Jaws not only shattered box office expectations, but forever changed the way we felt about going. in the water – and our way of thinking about sharks.

Now, for over 40 years (and over 100 shark films), the fear of sharks persists, and researchers at the University of South Australia are concerned about the negative impact of shark films on people. conservation efforts for this often endangered animal.

In a first global study, conservation psychology researchers Dr Briana Le Busque of UniSA and Associate Professor Carla Litchfield assessed the way sharks are portrayed in movies, finding that 96% of movies about sharks openly present sharks as a threat to humans.

Dr Le Busque says sensationalistic portrayals of sharks in popular media can unfairly influence how people view sharks and hurt conservation efforts.

“Most of what people know about sharks is obtained through movies or the news, where sharks are generally presented as something to be deeply feared,” says Dr. Le Busque.

“Since Jaws, we’ve seen a proliferation of monster shark movies – Open Water, The Meg, 47 Meters Down, Sharknado – all openly portraying sharks as terrifying creatures with an insatiable appetite for human flesh. is just not true.

“Sharks are at a much greater risk of harm from humans than humans from sharks, with global shark populations declining rapidly and many species threatened with extinction.

“An exacerbation of a fear of sharks that is disproportionate to their actual threat is hurting conservation efforts, often prompting people to support potentially harmful mitigation strategies.

“There is no doubt that the legacy of Jaws continues, but we need to be aware of how the movies portray sharks to capture moviegoers. This is an important step in debunking shark myths and strengthening conservation. Sharks.”

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Material provided by University of South Australia. Note: Content can be changed for style and length.

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