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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How to Kiss a Shark

A really inspiring video here of a diver who dives with, and hugs and kisses, Caribbean reef sharks.

I just love this video because it shows how gentle sharks are.  Look into this shark’s eyes and tell me that JAWS portrayed an accurate depiction of sharks.  Or the shark porn we see every August during Discovery Channel’s Shark Week for that matter.

A few more numbers to think about:

You’re 50,000 times more likely to be killed in a car accident than by a shark.

Jellyfish annually kills more people than sharks, and more people are struck by lightning each year than attacked by sharks.

And my favourite stat of all…there was a year recently when more people were killed by soda machines than by sharks.

Unfortunately there’s a much more gruesome stat that really bothers me.  Every year, humans kill on average 100 million sharks.  Many of them are shark-finned – their fins hacked off and thrown still living back into the ocean to die a slow and excruciating death.

Some shark species have been decimated by 90% in the past 20 years.

I encourage you to think about that when you watch this video and look into this shark’s peaceful eyes.

We need to help sharks.  Click here to learn how.

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Shark Attacks in Egypt Not Helping, it’s Shark Porn

Sharks have their work cut out for them, thanks to Steven Spielberg’s Blockbuster JAWS. Every year, an estimated 100 Million sharks are slaughtered. Many of them are finned – their fins hacked off – and thrown back into the ocean to die a slow death. Now this week, several shark attacks in the Red Sea at an Egyptian diving resort have the world terrified, and the media captivated.

Unfortunately, this does not help the sharks, some species of which have been decimated by 90 per cent over the past 20 years. I feel that it is important to keep this in perspective when watching this news story. Yes, this is a tragic accident, and it sucks. And yes, you can bet your bottom dollar that the authorities will slaughter thousands of sharks in the Red Sea (although frankly, there aren’t thousands of sharks left anymore, that’s the problem), to find the one shark responsible for these attacks.

But the real tragedy here are the numbers that will become of this story. One shark killed one person. Now, millions of sharks, even more than before, which was already an astronomical and unsustainable number, will be slaughtered, to ease some rich tourists’ peace of mind. Here’s a news flash for these rich tourists, and the gawkers, and the authorities who are already slaughtering so many sharks because of this…sharks LIVE in the ocean…they, you know, like LIVE there. The ocean is their home. So when you go into their home – and how many billions of people go into the ocean each year, resulting in an estimated 10-15 human deaths a year, versus 100 million sharks butchered for no other reason than the fact that they exist, just deal with the fact that the ocean is home to many amazing, beautiful creatures. We live on a pretty amazing planet. Just out of curiousity, how many people die in car accidents each year? Bee stings? Hit by lightning? Multiple times more than are attacked by sharks

When watching this story, I beg you, please, PLEASE, think about this. Sharks are not our enemy. Our world would be empty without them. And that, unfortunately, is a very real threat that we face.

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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

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Kayaks and Shark Porn

First the good news. A kayaker and some fishermen encountered a huge great white shark in Australia and got some cool video. Now the bad news. This is shark porn folks, and it’s why people are killing upwards of 100 million sharks each year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULe3w-bD0h4