Sharks have a bad image. A bad image totally undeserved.
How many people do sharks kill? Last year’s best guess was 10. Globally.
For years now, TV’s Discovery Channel has made a cause celeb of ensuring that sharks retain a demonic image. "Shark Week" 2021 starts this Sunday, June 11. Over the next seven days, Discovery will air 44 one-hour “stories” that depict sharks as blood-thirsty eating machines. Clearly, people eat way more sharks than sharks eat people. Way more.
Discovery's series is “fake news” on parade, day after day for a week. It inflates the risks, while stoking the unfounded fears that sharks are a serious threat. Not true. Chances of being bitten by a shark? One in four million. Chances of being struck by lightning? One in 500,000. Lightning kills an estimated 43 people a year, four times more deaths than caused by sharks. Box jellyfish kill many more people than do sharks. So do sea snakes and stingrays. So do cattle and horses, when it comes to fatally injuring farmers and ranchers. What’s next, Discovery Steak Week?
Shark Week is, as The Bard might say, much ado about nothing. Nonetheless, those who tune in will have access to hourlong episodes as “The Spawn of The Devil” and “Great White Comeback” and “Raging Bull” and the always popular “I Was Prey” segment, a compendium of interviews with shark attack survivors.
Tom Walsh, Rochester