Saturday, September 08, 2012

How Jaws Changed the World - Shark Week 2012




I vividly remember watching Jaws for the first time – actually, I spent most of the time hiding behind the couch or my hands – peeking out once in a while trying to catch a glimpse of the monster.  Going to the swimming pool became an ordeal, my imagination would always run wild as Jaws was stalking me to the tunes of John Williams.  Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have had a balance in our home due to the constant interest in diving, the ocean, and sharks.  Jaws had a profound effect on everyone that watched the movie at the time in one way or another.

“How Jaws Changed the World” attempted to shed light on the positive impact it had on people and sharks – such as a generation of marine biologists or that it inspired salvation (if anything, maybe the aftermath of the movie inspired salvation).  This might be true, but there is no way that it comes even close to the damage it did / still does to sharks – not just in terms of those killed mindlessly , but also as far as human perceive these creatures.  More people became Quinn opposed to Hooper…there was a significant decline in the shark population in New England and probably elsewhere.  The movie did what it was supposed to do…scare people and then some.

One may argue – times were different then, and people did not know much about sharks. On the other hand,  as a result of the movie, more funds were made available to research sharks.  Discovery Channel aired various Jaws DVD ads during Shark Week 2012 (even during “How Jaws Changed the World”) – why not donate a percentage of those proceeds to shark research / protection – why was there no drive whatsoever during that episode to encourage people to donate? Wasted opportunity…

Some other thoughts:


  • Why was Mark the Shark given airtime?
  • Where were the usual shark industry critics…more attention was given to the VW ad than Shark Week.  I guess you cannot bite the hand that feeds you…
  • Wish Joe Romero would have been given more airtime – his work is phenomenal