Scarborough Sea Life Centre declared a ‘JAWS’ amnesty for the duration of European Shark Week, which began yesterday.
The centre will take your old copies of JAWS and give you free entry in return from October 15-23.
Peter Benchley’s tale of a seaside resort terrorised by a rampaging Great White and the subsequent Spielberg blockbuster were a disaster for sharks, Sea Life marine experts claim.
Biologist Rob Hicks said: “For the vast majority who read the book or saw the film, JAWS engendered or reinforced the stereotype of sharks as mindless man-eaters,”
“Shark conservationists are still trying to undo the damage more than three decades later, struggling to quell an annual slaughter that has pushed many species to the brink of extinction”
Ironically many of the scientists working to save them were themselves inspired by Benchley’s creation, says Ali Hood, conservation director of UK-based charity The Shark Trust.
Towards the end of his career Benchley also became a staunch advocate of shark conservation.
The attraction will be hosting a range of shark-related activities next week, from special quiz trails and talks to shark face painting.
They will also be getting visitors to sign a petition urging Governments to ban the removal of shark fins at sea to reduce fishing quotas of sharks and rays.