In recent years, with better education and a more transparent approach to public engagement, our knowledge and understanding of the shark have improved such that coastal visitors and locals alike are more likely to see the presence of sharks as not only an indicator of ecosystem health, but also as an economic opportunity. Human responses like those that occurred in 1916, or even in the 1960s, have changed drastically. Rather than rely on ignorance and the distorted “man-eater” myth and cinematic tropes of shark violence, people are beginning to recognize that the predatory nature of sharks is natural and that sharks have greater rights to the ocean than tourists do. The appeal of shark ecotourism suggests that even though sharks are feral and can be scary, our unfamiliarity with them makes our curiosity trump that fear. This amazing shift in attitude has made the move away from hunting sharks with dynamite, guns, and longlines to hunting sharks with cameras a logical one. By rebranding the shark and seeing it as natural capital, their presence in the world’s oceans can be understood as another asset we must tend to.
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