The movie Jaws is set in a fictional New England town that depended on tourism for its economy. When the great white shark came to town, it brought fear and panic. Unfortunately, the movie taught many people to hate and fear sharks; instead of celebrating the beauty of these sharks, people sought to eliminate them.
Recently, great white sharks have been returning to the Cape Cod area. The return should be a celebrated ecological event. The fact that sharks are returning to the area means that the system is once again healthy enough to support apex predators. However, the sharks’ return is making the local residents fearful instead of happy.
With the return of the sharks came unfortunate shark encounters, such as the death of a boogie boarder last year. The event represented the first deadly shark encounter in decades. It is not only the presence of sharks that is inciting fear among local residents; if increased shark activity leads to a fall in tourism it could bring about an economic slump in the area.
The recovery of the seal population has led to the rebound of the shark population. Hopefully, sharks and residents will be able to start living together in peace soon.