Jaws put Steven Spielberg on the map. However, the director regrets the film’s impact on the environment.
In a new interview with BBC Radio 4 Desert Island DiscsSpielberg, 76, has told how he feels guilty about the decline in shark populations after the astronomical success of his 1975 blockbuster, in which a peaceful New England seaside town tries to save itself from a great white shark that is killing beachgoers. Spielberg was only 27 years old when the film was made.
“I really, and still do, feel sorry for the destruction of the shark population because of the book and the movie. I really, really regret it,” the filmmaker shared. “That’s one of the things I’m still afraid of. Not to be eaten by a shark, but that the sharks are somehow mad at me for the crazy sportfisherman feeding frenzy that happened after 1975.”
Spielberg is not alone in his regrets. Peter Benchley, author of the book Jaws The BBC previously reported that he was based and spent the rest of his life campaigning for the protection of sharks.
“Knowing what I know now, I could never have written that book today,” Benchley shared. “Sharks don’t target humans, and they certainly don’t hold grudges.”
Despite Spielberg’s claims, experts are mixed on the film’s impact on shark survival. Although it is a statistical fact that shark populations are declining (2021 Nature The world’s population of oceanic sharks and rays has been found to have declined by 71%, some experts say, not because of a book or a movie. Paul Cox, chief executive of the Shark Trust, said he blamed it Jaws “Gives the movie too much credit.”
“The decline in shark populations is clearly overfishing,” he explained. The Guardian reports.