SharkFEST is On NatGeo Channel

You’ve got to love these early days of August. Every year, shark freaks like myself come out in celebration of that annual thing called Shark Week on Discovery Channel. Apparently there’s sweet viewership in sharks, and now, after Discovery’s made it their annual shark pornfest of ‘great whites will kill you at the first chance they  get!’, another channel is joining the fun. The channel: National Geographic Channel. Their schtick? SharkFEST.

Kinda early to see where this goes, and/or if NatGeo channel will rise above the shark porn that Shark Week has sadly turned into. I hope they do, though, because I find NatGeo channel to be everything that Discovery Channel used to be – interesting, relevant and engaging. Let’s see where SharkFest goes and if it makes it passed one season. Here’s the teaser.

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Time to Get Sharky, it’s Shark Week Folks!

Some people REALLY love Shark Week

With apologies to Christmas and the first day of the NHL season, we’re fast approaching the best day of the year. July 31…queue the JAWS music. Yes, it’s…SHARK WEEK!!!

We’ve come a long way in 22 seasons. When Shark Week first aired in 1987, it was pretty much about shark porn, aka, sharks are scary and they’ll kill you the first chance they get, to get people glued to the TV. And many observers agree that 2009 was the low point (available on DVD as the Jaws of Steel collection). Today? Shark Week still pushes shark porn to sell DVDs. But…they’re getting better. Look at this line up of shark conservation related episodes and you see that they at least appear to understand that sharks are seriously being killed off in stupid ways and for stupid reasons (although it doesn’t look like these videos will get any air time other than on the website). Shark porn sells, but at least some viewers have a better idea what’s happening to our finned friends (and that SHARKS…DO…NOT…EAT…PEOPLE).

So yes, Shark Week is once again upon us. Enjoy it. Look past the whole Great White Invasion!! hooplah (as estimates suggest there are less than 3000 great whites left, and great white sharks are now more rare than tigers), and check out some of their conservation related videos. Enjoy the live shark webcam set up at Georgia Aquarium. Peruse the shark news and the educational tools. Enjoy Shark Week folks.

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Shark Week Minus Shark Porn in 2010

Shark Diver CEO Patric Douglas is rarely without words when it comes to anything shark-related, particularly shark porn, or the demonization of sharks, to get viewers.  Last year was a low point for us shark lovers, commercial divers and eco-related documentary film-makers, as Discovery Channel’s annual summer ritual, Shark Week, pretty much went back to JAWS, circa 1975, with shark porn a-plenty in an effort to score with audiences.  The good news?  No shark porn this year.  Audiences and critics lambasted Discovery Channel’s Shark Week programming in 2009, straight out of the arena, to the point that a mass exodus of media execs took place at the network after the programming aired.  This year, it’s back to the basics – sharks 101, sharks and conservation, neato facts, you know, Discovery Channel stuff.  That’s the word anyway.  As Patric says, the real start to Shark Week 2010 begins here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLwlWo19y9s&feature=player_embedded