It may be time to rethink our attitude toward sharks.
Forty years ago, the release of Jaws taught us that the only appropriate response to sharks is revulsion and terror. But a video recently taken by a PEI fisherman shows a different side of sharks, revealing they can be curious, playful, and even cute.
Junior Gould was fishing for tuna off Red Head Harbour in PEI when he saw the shark hanging around his boat. He decided to lower a camera into the water, and the footage he captured gave an amazing up-close look at a shark checking out its surroundings.
“It was just curious,” he told the CBC. “It came beside the boat and started nudging the boat.”
The shark, which was over six feet long, seemed to be exploring rather than showing any aggression. Gould said that whenever someone on the boat made a sudden movement, the shark would quickly retreat.
“It was really cute — it was more like a puppy than it was anything like Jaws,” Gould said. “But again, we were safe on the boat!”
Gould said that the fishers used to swim off the side of the boat on nice days, but after they accidentally caught a shark (which they released alive) a few years ago, they stopped.
Like bears and cougars, sharks can be fierce and deadly predators, and their wildness should be respected. But perhaps it’s time for us to treat sharks the same way we do bears: as dangerous but beautiful (and sometimes even endearing) creatures.
Gould himself said he found the shark to be majestic. “A video or a picture of it doesn’t do it justice — it’s a beautiful fish.”