In an interview, US director Steven Spielberg regretted the negative consequences of his hit film "Jaws" for the predatory fish. "To this day I regret the decimation of the shark population because of the book and the film. I really regret that," the 76-year-old said on Sunday on BBC's Desert Island Discs.
Spielberg spoke of a "feeding frenzy" that the film triggered among sport fishermen after its release in 1975. Half-jokingly, half-seriously, Spielberg said that's why he's scared of going swimming in shark waters - "that the sharks are kind of mad at me."
Spielberg's horror shocker (English title: "Jaws") is based on the novel of the same name by US author Peter Benchley (1940-2006). It grossed about $470 million worldwide on an estimated budget of $8 million and won three Oscars and a Golden Globe in 1976. A BBC report asked fish researcher George Burgess about the aftermath of the film: "Thousands of anglers set out to catch trophy sharks after seeing 'Jaws'." Burgess spoke of a "testosterone rush" spilling over the US east coast. Benchley is said to have already apologized for the consequences of his book.