Shark conservationist and campaigner Madison Stewart has recently completed a short film documenting her interviews with shark hunters Mark the Shark of Florida and Vic Hislop of Australia. She notes that although they represent the very public face of an anachronistic activity, they are a part of an industry that continues to harvest sharks in unsustainable numbers and to deny these animal’s right to exist, even when their importance to the ecosystem is well understood.
In 2016 I spent time with ‘Mark the Shark’ and ‘Vic Hislop’, two infamous shark hunters. I managed to sit down with and interview both, and join Mark for a day on his boat. This is the film I created about my interactions with the two men. Shark hunters represent an archaic approach to fear, but shaming them in an Instagram post is not going to change them. If we want to help sharks, we need to approach things and people without hatred through knowing your enemies you win half the battle.
The film consists of an intro, Mark’s interview, then Vic’s interview then a conclusion which includes footage of grey nurse sharks, a great example of this archaic mentality… great nurse were hunted to near extinction despite being one of the non harmful species of shark, this was one of the first war on sharks from humans in Australia, they are now protected.
In talking about Mark the Shark:
“He is an individual who has caused so much destruction singlehandedly but he is an easy enemy because we can see him. Don’t let this distract you from the industry that is killing sharks at your doorstep. People ask me if I hate Mark, the truth: I cannot afford to as change does not arise from hatred, it arises from being better. People like Mark will always exist, but their place in history will not.”