THE PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF SHARKS as “killing machines” is straight up ludicrous, and mostly comes from the fact that sharks are awesome horror movie monsters. I’ll admit, I like movies like Jaws, Sharknado, and Sharktopus just as much as the next guy, but the misconceptions they breed are definitely problematic. While sharks are by no means harmless, their image as mindless killers is wildly exaggerated, especially when you consider how much we kill them.
It’s staggering. Check out the incredible infographic by Joe Chernov and Robin Richards below — note that the number of humans killed by sharks is listed per year, while the number of sharks killed by humans is listed per hour.
“Finning” is the totally unsustainable (and cruel) practice of catching sharks, cutting off their fins, and dumping the animals back into the ocean to die. The fins are used for “shark fin soup,” which, incidentally, you should never eat, given the endangered status of these sharks.
To learn more, here are links to Shark Conservation Society, Stop Shark Finning, Humane Society International, Pew Environment, and Sharkwater.