‘There’s a big misconception that sharks are killers’: Debunking myths in honor of Shark Week

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NEW ORLEANS --  As you've probably heard, it is Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, so sharks are on people's minds.

There are a lot of misconceptions about sharks -- that they are blood-thirsty, man-eating monsters, who are fast, mean, and frightening.

News with a Twist Reporter Kenny Lopez went to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas to debunk some of those myths.

Over time, Hollywood has made sharks out to be evil predators because of movies like "Jaws."

Sharks, like all other animals, must eat to survive, but shark experts at the aquarium say most shark attacks happen because humans are mistaken as seals.  Sharks don't actually like human meat.

"There's a big misconception that sharks are killers," said Kristine Grzenda, shark expert at the Audubon Aquarium.

According to Grzenda, sharks are very valuable creatures.

"The health of shark populations are directed to our oceans.  They keep a healthy ecosystem by keeping fish populations in check.  If they are helping to keep our oceans healthy, then they are keeping our whole earth happy.  That's something people should care about,"  she said.

Another common misconception about sharks is that they are vicious predators always looking for a meal.

"Instead of hunting consistently they are actually looking for an easy meal.  They look for old fish, or sick fish.  We shouldn't be afraid of sharks, they are afraid of us.  Over 100 million sharks are killed every year, so the predator is actually us,"  Grzenda said.

Here's an interesting fact: On average, there are only about six shark attacks per year.

For more information about the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, click HERE.  

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