Myths about sharks have grown at a rather rapid speed mostly because of pop culture. Movies such as JAWS really invoked unnecessary fear in peoples’ minds about sharks. Because of which numerous misconceptions have been spread about our sharks.
Recently, Temple Reef, which is our home reef has been graced with whale shark visitations. Scuba diving, snorkelling and free diving with these gentle giants has been an extreme delight for us!
Checkout our blog on our latest whale shark visit to Temple Reef here.
However, people (especially newbie divers) are not very educated when it comes to sharks. Because we notice them believing a whole lot of myths about sharks.
Even though whale sharks are completely harmless, they are the largest fish in the world; which also makes them the largest shark in the world!
Now this can get a little daunting for a first timer as they are anyway super nervous and scared about their dives.
Therefore, we thought it would be a good idea to debunk some of these misconceptions and myths about sharks.
3 Myths About Sharks: DEBUNKED
1. Shark Attacks on humans are very common:
A mindless myth! Shark attacks are not common. Sharks do not consider human beings as food. Sharks are predatory creatures but unless provoked will not harm you. That being said, it is extremely important to get a local orientation and to follow rules and guidelines. This is not only to ensure your safety but also the sharks safety.
2. Sharks are apex predators, so they have no predators:
While yes it is true that sharks are apex predators; it is NOT true that they do not have predators. Orcas (or Killer Whales) hunt down sharks!
But the WORST predator of sharks are humans. Human beings have been overfishing and even hunting down sharks in the process. Shark meat (though completely tasteless) sells in a lot of places which is why their demand is so high. Sharks are also fished out for their fins for shark fin soup which is unfortunately considered a high-end delicacy in many areas.
Other than that people are also under the very ignorant opinion that sharks can cause cancer which is again, not true!
There are so many reasons that sharks are being hunted down for and all the reasons have no logical explanation to them. We human beings are the reason for sharks going extinct and our ecosystems cannot survive without our apex predators. So we need to start acting fast on our mindless actions.
3. Shark fins can grow back:
Unfortunately this is not true. This is another myth made up to further the killing of sharks. As mentioned above shark fin soup is considered a high-end delicacy in many areas. Because of this sharks are hunted ONLY for their fins. Their fins are cut off from their bodies and they are thrown back in the water. The fin cannot grow back and the poor shark bleeds to death. All this just for a bowl of soup.
Sharks are beautiful, graceful creatures that we very much need for our ecosystems in order to be healthy. Without sharks our whole food webs can collapse, which could result in further ecological destruction.
Educating ourselves and spreading awareness about sharks and the marine world is a starting point to having healthy ecosystems.
Send us a message if you would like to know more on this topic here.