Something seems to have gone terribly wrong with shark awareness in the UK.

According to the latest research by Bite-Back, while an impressive 83% of Britons think more should be done to save the world’s oceans, a staggering 64% wish that sharks do not exist.

The research, published by Bite-Back as an infographic on their Facebook page, shows the sheer lack of education about sharks in the UK. Key facts to emerge form the survey include:

  • 46% of people are more frightened of sharks than spiders, snakes, and mice put together.
  • One third of Britons have never heard of a Basking Shark, the largest shark in UK waters.
  • 97% of those surveyed are unaware that 73 million sharks are killed every year.

According to Bite-Back Campaign Director Graham Buckingham:

“For decades Hollywood movies and the media have only represented sharks as monsters. And it’s just not true. JAWS wasn’t a documentary and the fact is that toasters, ladders, dogs, vending machines and lightning strikes each kill more people than sharks every year. For me the fact that humans kill 73 million sharks a year, roughly two every second, is the most terrifying shark statistic to share.”

The scale of the ignorance about sharks, their behaviour, and the pressures they face is truly staggering. Clearly more efforts need to be done to raise awareness about sharks, their plight and how important they are to our marine ecosystems.

To find out more about Bite-Back or donate, visit their site here.

Shark Awareness Sorely Lacking In The UK, Or So It Would Seem (Image credit: Bite-Back)