April 01, 2008

'Jaws' Author's Widow Opposes Shark-Fishing Tournament: The widow of Jaws novelist Peter Benchley has spoken out against a sport her husband helped popularize with his portrayal of the dead-eyed eating machine that destroyed 1975's tourist season in Amity Island. "Shark-fishing tournaments add to the depletion of sharks," said Wendy Benchley, speaking out against the Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament that had 1,250 entrants last year and in 2006 hooked 2,500 sharks and killed 46, according to the Humane Society. "Peter often said he would never write 'Jaws' now," Wendy said.

posted by rcade to other at 11:00 AM - 10 comments

Interesting.... That movie made a lot of people nervous about going into the water for a few years and started the sport of shark fishing... I guess if the sharks can be used for something after they are caught, it is no different than killing beef for meat and other things. Honestly, 46 sharks last year... Is that really a big deal? Hmmmm...

posted by bruce2ww at 08:11 AM on April 02, 2008

Mr James that was 30 years ago how many fish have you and your "BIG BOAT little ****" buddies caught off George's Bank lately oh sorry those sea's are to rough you I am sure sir would be chumming whilst your hired help motored you tout-suite to Boothbay for cocktails and sea chanty's at the club. You nuevo hedgies make me want to puke in your koi ponds.

posted by thatch at 09:46 AM on April 02, 2008

Well, I'm not sure what thatch is talking about, but Frank Mundus isn't a big fan of shark fishing tournaments. We all know him. And we know how he makes a living.

posted by THX-1138 at 10:27 AM on April 02, 2008

Honestly, 46 sharks last year... Is that really a big deal? Hmmmm... Well, first off, that's only one tournament. Second, that doesn't count the sharks among the 2,500 hooked that didn't survive the experience. Third, that tournament was shortened by bad weather, so the typical kill would be higher. Fourth, the analogy to beef cattle fails because sharks are wild animals, not livestock -- they're not bred in captivity, fed when needed, provided with medical care and protection from predators; their population thus is not supported and sustained, and removing them from the ecosystem has a significant impact. Fifth, there's no indication that the sharks were "used for something after they were caught" except perhaps to serve as models for a taxidermist to create trophies. That may or may not add up to a "big deal" in your book. OTOH, I tend to think that we really need to stop requiring a certificate of big-deal-ness before we'll consider refraining from possibly problematic behavior. Trophy tournaments provide fun, props and tropies for a few -- is that such a huge positive good that it merits blowing off concerns about negative consequences?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:49 AM on April 02, 2008

Sharks are fucking fascinating. What a critter - not to mention a cornerstone species. Tourneys such as these are, well, pretty much the antithesis of that kind of sentiment. Not my bag, for sure - though I do like to fish.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:30 PM on April 02, 2008

How To Fuck Up An Ecosystem 101: Remove the dominant predator. Down here there are moves on to protect the Great White - in Australian waters at least. A number of survivors of shark attacks have even stated that they don't want the sharks hunted down and killed afterwards, despite the occasional nutter who wants to go out seeking 'revenge'. Revenge for what? Entering the shark's habitat and territory?

posted by owlhouse at 06:21 PM on April 02, 2008

George's Bank once the greatest fishing grounds in the world is a fished out waste land (also the setting of "The Perfect Storm") hence the reference. Of course we are talking about guys who consider canned hunts with a guide sport..

posted by thatch at 10:58 PM on April 02, 2008

Yeah! *nod* What? There's nothing to add to bat's and owlhouse's remarks, which sum it up perfectly. Of course, there might be a silver lining. Wipe out the shark and you remove the risk of anyone ever again writing such a terrible novel. Seriously. Only scenario I can ever think of where the film was better than the book. By miles.

posted by JJ at 04:34 AM on April 03, 2008

I wonder if Beatrix Potter was opposed to rabbit hunting?

posted by budman13 at 09:53 AM on April 03, 2008

I have it on good authority that a.a. milne used teddy bears as kindling.

posted by THX-1138 at 12:04 PM on April 03, 2008

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