Flaws pp 163-188 | Cite as

Considering Sharks from a Post-Jaws Perspective

  • Christopher L. Pepin-Neff


This chapter concludes Flaws by doing three things. First, it reviews the flaws being analyzed, which include the way sharks are portrayed as the enemy, the way shark bites are seen as intentional, and how policy responses may appear to be based on public safety. It identifies politicians as the true sharks of this story for their manipulation of tragic circumstances to protect their own interests. Secondly, the chapter also provides a report card on other policy responses around the world and suggests that the “Save the Sharks” movement is building. And finally, it concludes with final thoughts about the human-shark relationship and how different it can be in the future without Hollywood and cable news.


Flaws Jaws Shark Shark attack Emotion Public policy 


  1. ABC News. (2010, March 1). Shark attacks rise worldwide but drop in the U.S. ABC News website. Retrieved from Accessed Sept 2011.
  2. Associated Press (AP). (2008, June 19). 3 shark attacks have Mexico resort area in panic. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from
  3. Australia Bureau of Statistics. (2004). How many people live in Australia’s coastal areas? Year Book Australia 2004 website. Retrieved from
  4. Brown, N., & Michael, M. (2002). From authority to authenticity: The changing governance of biotechnology. Health, Risk & Society, 4(3), 259–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Caldicott, D. G., Mahajani, R., & Kuhn, M. (2001). The anatomy of a shark attack: A case report and review of the literature. Injury, 32(6), 445–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chapple, T., Jorgensen, S. J., Anderson, S. D., Kanive, P. E., Klimley, A. P., Botsford, L. W., & Block, B. A. (2011). A first estimate of white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, abundance off Central California. Biology Letters, 7, 581–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Creel, L. (2003, September). Ripple effects: Population and coastal regions. Population Reference Bureau website. Retrieved from
  8. Department of Environmental Protection. (2011, July 29). Grading of beach water quality released. Hong Kong Government website. Retrieved from
  9. Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Government of Queensland. (2011). Shark control program. Queensland PIRSA Fisheries website. Retrieved from Accessed Sept 2011.
  10. Department of Primary Industries, Government of New South Wales. (2009). Report into the NSW shark meshing (bather protection) program [public consultation document]. New South Wales Department of Primary Industries website. Retrieved from
  11. Hazin, F. H., Burgess, G. H., & Carvalho, F. C. (2008). A shark attack outbreak off Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil: 1992–2006. Bulletin of Marine Science, 82(2), 199–212.Google Scholar
  12. Hinrichsen, D. (1999). The coastal population explosion, the next 25 years. Global issues in: Coastal trends workshop. Retrieved from
  13. Honey, M., & Krantz, D. (2007, December). Global trends in coastal tourism. Center on Economic and Sustainable Development. Retrieved from
  14. Huveneers, C., Whitmarsh, S., Thiele, M., Meyer, L., Fox, A., & Bradshaw, C. (2018). Effectiveness of five personal shark-bite deterrents for surfers. PeerJ, 6, e5554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. International Shark Attack File. (2011a). Victim’s activity during unprovoked shark attacks worldwide 1900–2009. International Shark Attack File website. Retrieved from
  16. International Shark Attack File. (2011b). Your odds of being attacked. ISAF website. Retrieved from
  17. Komsomolets, M. (2011, August 24). Primorye fishermen launch shark hunt. Retrieved from
  18. Kwazulu-Natal Sharks Board (KZN). (2011). Sharks Board website. Retrieved from
  19. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (2018). Definition of shark (2). Retrieved from
  20. Neff, C. (2012). Australian beach safety and the politics of shark attacks. Coastal Management, 40(1), 88–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Neff, C. (2015). The Jaws effect: How movie narratives are used to influence policy responses to shark bites in Western Australia. Australian Journal of Political Science, 50(1), 114–127. Scholar
  22. Orlando Sentinel. (1999, May 13). Brazilians keep surfing despite ban and sharks. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved from Accessed Sept 2011.
  23. Papson, S. (1992). Cross the fin line of terror: Shark week on the discovery channel. Journal of American Culture, 15(4), 67–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pepin-Neff, C., & Wynter, T. (2018a). Reducing fear to influence policy preferences: An experiment with sharks and beach safety policy options. Marine Policy, 8.
  25. Pepin-Neff, C., & Wynter, T. (2018b). Shark bites and shark conservation: An analysis of human attitudes following shark bite incidents in two locations in Australia. Conservation Letters, 11(2), 1–8. Scholar
  26. Pepin-Neff, C., & Wynter, T. (2019). Save the sharks: Re-evaluating and (re)-valuing feared predators. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 24(1), 87–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Randwick City Council. (2011). Coogee Pier and the Shark Net. Randwick City Council website. Retrieved from Accessed Sept 2011.
  28. Reid, D., & Krogh, M. (1992). Assessment of the catches from protective shark meshing off New South Wales beaches between 1950 and 1990. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 43, 283–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Savannah Morning News. (2001, July 13). Bull sharks common on Georgia coast; attacks uncommon. Savannah Morning News. Retrieved from
  30. Save Our Seas Foundation. (2011a, July 25). Keeping tabs on Cape Cod great whites. Save Our Seas Foundation Blog. Retrieved from
  31. Save Our Seas Foundation. (2011b). White sharks, South Africa. Save Our Seas Foundation website. Retrieved from
  32. Schneider, A., & Ingram, H. (1993). Social construction of target populations: Implications for politics and policy. American Political Science Review, 87, 334–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Slovic, P. (2004). What’s fear got to do with it–It’s emotion we need to worry about. Missouri Law Review, 69, 971.Google Scholar
  34. Sunstein, C. R. (2002). Probability neglect: Emotions, worst cases, and law. The Yale Law Journal, 112(1), 61–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Trembath, B. (2011). Sharks tracked as they cruise swimming spots. ABC News PM with Mark Colvin website. Retrieved from
  36. Tricas, T., & McCosker, J. (1984). Predatory behavior of the white shark. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 43(14), 221–238. Retrieved from
  37. United Nations World Tourism Organization. (2011a, January 17). International tourism 2010: Multi-speed recovery. UNWTO website press release. Retrieved from
  38. United Nations World Tourism Organization. (2011b). Tourism Trends and Marketing Strategies UNWTO. UNWTO website. Retrieved from
  39. Vaidyanathan, R. (2011, August 20). Seychelles shark attack: Fishermen hunting the killer. BBC Retrieved from
  40. Van Beeck, E. F., Branche, C. M, Szpilman, D, Modell, J. H., & Bierens, J. J. L. M. (2005, November). A new definition of drowning: towards documentation and prevention of a global public health problem. Bull World Health Organ, Genebra, 83(11). Retrieved from
  41. Wetherbee, B., Lowe, C., & Crow, G. (1994). A review of shark control in Hawaii with recommendations for future research. Pacific Science, 48, 95–115.Google Scholar
  42. World Health Organization. (2011). Drowning. World Health Organization website. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher L. Pepin-Neff
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SydneySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations