Thirty-seven years after its release, Jaws remains one of the most successful and memorable films ever made. It also created the first and lasting impression about sharks for many.
For Peter Benchley, writing Jaws was neither the beginning nor the end of his relationship with sharks. Sharks first fascinated him as a child on Nantucket. Shortly after Jaws was published in 1974, Peter and his wife, Wendy Benchley, went diving with great white sharks for the first time. And he became enamored with sharks in a totally different way.
Legacy: The Words of Peter Benchley is a new short video by Shark Savers and 333 Productions that presents the shark conservation message of Peter Benchley – in his own words. For the decades after the release of Jaws, Peter Benchley devoted himself to marine conservation, with shark conservation a special concern.
Wendy Benchley partnered with Peter in more ways than one, accompanying him on many of his shark diving expeditions and becoming a conservationist in her own career. Wendy is now Board Chair of Shark Savers, an international non-profit organization whose sole mission is to protect sharks and mantas.
Legacy: The Words of Peter Benchley will move the Jaws fan to make the same transition as the Benchleys, from mere fascination or even fear of sharks, to admiration, respect, and a desire to protect them.
Shark Savers has wanted to prepare a tribute to Peter Benchley for some time. In preparation for JawsFest 2012, a fan event that took place in Martha’s Vineyard in August, Shark Savers’ marine conservationist Samantha Whitcraft conceived of the idea to combine Benchley’s conservation message and eloquent words with the stunning imagery of white sharks filmed by the immensely talented underwater filmmaker, Joe Romeiro. Shark Savers turned to Joe and the fantastic production team led by Bill Fisher at 333 Productions, to produce Legacy with us.
White sharks are Vulnerable to extinction. Over a third of other pelagic sharks are also threatened with extinction, and shark populations throughout the world have been decimated by unsustainable demand for their fins. And yet, sharks are essential to the healthy balance of the oceans.
The message of Benchley, and of Legacy, is that we need to protect these important and magnificent animals.
We hope you enjoy Legacy: The Words of Peter Benchley.