Eli Roth is spot-on when it comes to most of the points he makes with his upcoming documentary titled Fin, but one thing that he kind of needs a refresher on is the idea that one species dying off is going to wreck the world. This is when someone should be reminding Roth that many species have died out over the course of the earth’s long and storied existence. But barring that, humanity is unfortunately very responsible for the decline in the number of sharks that are currently left in the oceans, and without the apex predators atop the food chain, it is a very big concern as to which animal will take over and how this will affect the ecosystem. The biggest concern in this movie is the fact that sharks are being hunted in such great numbers that were they used entirely from snout to tail, there might not be an issue, nor would it be an issue if they were being hunted in a sustainable manner. But the problem is that sharks are a big business item, or rather, their constituent parts are.
As a lover of horror, Roth has picked a topic that is absolutely horrifying since it reveals a chilling truth, that the number of sharks that are being killed isn’t just absurdly high, but many of them are only being killed for their fins and various other parts. Some fishermen will use the whole shark, others will take what they need and let the carcass drop to the bottom of the sea where it will be fed upon by other animals. But the point is that at this time sharks are being hunted in mass numbers and are being used in very irresponsible ways. Not only that, but the fact that so many are being killed doesn’t fit a sustainable model since at this rate it’s easy to wonder how there are any sharks left in the ocean. It’s also easy to wonder what might happen with them gone.
The world won’t likely end as Roth has stated, but it’s very likely that another apex predator will have to rise, or the ecosystem will be out of balance for a while. As one of the most proficient hunters through the seas, sharks are at the top of the food chain and don’t have a lot of encounters with other creatures that can or will hunt them. Orcas might take down a shark, or perhaps a crocodile might if a shark travels too far inland, but as of now the worst threat that sharks have are humans. Even worse is the fact that sharks are not a threat to humanity. There are times when sharks might attack if agitated or if they mistake a human for food, but while there have been many documented attacks, they’re nowhere near epidemic levels, especially when considering how many sharks have been slain by human beings over the years. The unfortunate truth is that to many people, sharks are terrifying creatures since the fact that many of them do have vicious-looking mouths filled with serrated teeth that can cut through flesh easily scares many people just by looking at them. Add onto this their agility and ability to virtually disappear in their surroundings until they’re ready to strike, and they are actually quite fearsome.
But taking into account their environment and how they survive, sharks have evolved to make the best use of their environment and their bodies are perfectly formed for their needs. They look intimidating, and they are intimidating in a way since meeting a shark in its element is bound to make a person feel helpless. That is, until people realize that sharks aren’t out to get humans. There are so many facts that people don’t know or refuse to learn about sharks that would negate a good deal of the fear that many people harbor about them. They are fearsome creatures, there’s no doubt, but they’re at the top of the food chain for a reason, and it’s because they have few to any real enemies that can cause them serious harm, and humanity is one of them.
One glaring problem with humanity is that if we fear something, many of us want to eliminate it. If we figure out that something is useful, we exploit it to the utmost no matter what it’s capable of doing to the environment. There are many great things about humanity, but sometimes the way we treat the world around us isn’t one of them. Eli Roth is going to be taking a look at the massive industry that has been built around the deaths of so many sharks, and it’s likely that some folks won’t want to indulge his curiosity as he tries to find out what’s happening in terms of the shark population and its current decline.