When families flock to Martha’s Vineyard in the summer and dip their feet into the ocean, a fear brought on almost fifty years ago is reborn, and suddenly, the threat of a deadly shark creeps into the mind. The fear of sharks, especially by the Jaws Bridge in Martha’s Vineyard, was caused by the mind of Steven Spielberg and his cult classic Jaws.

47 years after the release of this terrifying movie, Spielberg admits that he “truly regrets” the film and the perception it created surrounding sharks.

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We all know the movie. A man-eating, great white shark wreaks havoc on a seaside town, and that seaside town is only a boat ride from the SouthCoast.

While locals and tourists continue to travel to the Vineyard and enjoy their own experiences on Jaws Bridge, it’s evident that the perpetual fear that Speilberg created expanded beyond the movie screen and into real life.

The highly-touted director discussed his successful career recently on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, and when Jaws became the topic of discussion, so did the rise of sports fishing across America.

“That’s one of the things I still fear,” said Spielberg. “Not to get eaten by a shark, but that sharks are somehow mad at me for the feeding frenzy of crazy sports fishermen that happened after 1975.”

Spielberg added, “I truly, to this day, regret the decimation of the shark population because of the book and the film. I really, truly regret it.”

I choose to take Spielberg’s words as an apology for the sleepless nights that this movie caused me. I refuse to let my feet dangle off the side of a dock and I will never feel comfortable wading in open water for fear of a giant shark swallowing me whole, but in truth, it was only the master of cinema that created that fear.

I accept your apology, Spielberg, but I can’t speak for the sharks.

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