It is Shark week and after 27 years Discovery Channel is again performing at its best and worst: scaring us, making us laugh and generally filling the TV and print media with shark stories. Even the tweeters are getting in with hundreds of thousands of pithy syllables and hashtags. Claiming to be delivering shark science and education in the form of entertainment, Discovery Channel has been accused repeatedly of a disinformation campaign. Last year 76% viewers polled believed an extinct Megaladon shark “Submarine” still swims the ocean deep after airing the Mockumentary Megaladon The Monster Shark Lives. A follow up this year called Shark of Darkness: Wrath of Submarine perpetuates the absurdity cloaked in science. But many scientists are claiming Shark Week is Dead in the Water with the misrepresentations and sensationalization of shark behavior. Many scientists are avoiding appearances on the program.
Even shark week fans are getting angry and starting to bite back. Although the program is a success, Discovery Stock is Sinking. Maybe the producers should Rethink the Shark and take the attack out of Shark Week.
Whats all the fuss about? Shark Week perpetuates the myth that sharks are mindless man eaters and cold blooded killing machines. The late Peter Benchley, author of Jaws used the last decades of his life to attempt to undo what the book- and the film did to sharks. No such remorse has issued forth from film producer Steven Spielberg however. ET phone home.
We are fortunate enough to have many species of sharks in our local waters. This Shark Week we are urging the public to talk a walk along the shore, help us record observations of local sharks, skates and rays as part of our Sharkwatch citizen science program.
After shark week ends we will still be losing these magnificent animals by the millions. With many species facing extinction the public needs to reconsider the myths around sharks and join us celebrating sharks this Sharktober with events and special Farallon Island Expeditions.
For the sharks! Join Shark Stewards and consider supporting our shark sanctuary campaign.
Posted 13th August 2014 by David McGuire