A Video for Jaws Fans and Peter's Legacy

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, 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 I went diving with great white sharks for the first time in South Australia with ABC's American Sportsman, Stan Waterman and Rodney Fox.  And Peter 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 devoted himself to marine conservation, with shark conservation a special concern.

Peter was the writer and I was the environmental policy wonk.  And for more than 30 years we traveled together on shark diving expeditions all over the world. Today, I am 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 we did, from mere fascination of sharks, to respect, admiration and a strong desire to protect them.

Shark Savers has wanted to prepare a tribute to Peter 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 Peter'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 Legacy is that we need to protect these important and magnificent animals. We hope you enjoy Legacy: The Words of Peter Benchley, and please check out all the great work Shark Savers is doing. 

Wendy Benchley - Board Chair, Shark Savers