Shark Week – Discovery Channel’s Edu-tainment a Success

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If you managed to watch episodes of the Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week extravaganza this week, you doubtless learned amazing things about sharks and the people who study them, and you might have gained perspective on the threat that those animals pose to humans.  We have all heard the statistics – such as that you are more likely to be hit by lightening than be attacked by a shark – but the Discovery Channel went way beyond that and showed how little interest the sharks have in eating us.
We watched people free diving and swimming with great white sharks, we witnessed Craig Ferguson (in a 2010 repeat) overcome his fear of sharks in a funny rendition of how most of us feel at the prospect of swimming with sharks. We watched the model megalodon ‘Sharkzilla’ as it bit down on a keg of beer, a jet ski, a kayak, an oil drum, and a television among other things. All in all, the Discovery Channel got it right, presenting an irresistible blend of breath taking images, accounts of attacks, research, and humor.

One of their sponsors, Volkswagen, got into the act by building a Beetle shark cage that drove along the sea floor – a great idea of how to dive with, or rather drive with, sharks. If you get uncomfortable you can just drive up on the beach.

Saturday morning until mid afternoon, Pacific time, you can still catch repeats of the episodes. If you would like more information on shark conservation, the following organizations worked with the Discovery Channel:

Shark Conservation
This year, Shark Week is supporting three organizations dedicated to protecting sharks: Oceana, the Pew Environment Group and Shark Savers. Please check out these three groups to find out how you can get involved.
Oceana (2012 Conservation Partner)
“”Oceana, the largest international organization solely focused on protecting the world’s oceans, believes you should be scared for sharks. Shark populations around the world are crashing. Sign the petition to protect sharks. To help Oceana make a difference, please sign their petition:”

PEW Charitable Trusts (2012 Conservation Partner)
“Nearly a third of all shark species are at risk of extinction due to demand for shark fin soup, which drives the killing of up to 73 million sharks annually. If this slaughter does not stop, these ancient predators will soon go the way of the dinosaurs. For more information, go to You can join us in supporting global shark conservation at”

Shark Savers (2012 Conservation Partner)
“Shark Savers is dedicated to saving sharks and mantas through building awareness, education and action. Founded in 2007 by six long-time divers with a shared passion, our mission is to save the world’s dwindling shark and manta populations. Today, more than 25,000 members from 99 nations share that passion. Focusing on action and results, Shark Savers’ programs result in more protections for sharks and mantas, locally and globally. By leveraging broad professional experience and ocean expertise, Shark Savers brings this important issue to the public in many compelling forms, motivating people to stop consuming sharks and shark fin soup, working for the creation of shark sanctuaries and empowering divers as advocates and citizen scientists for sharks. For more information, go to

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
“From the white sharks that silently patrol the Gulf of the Farallones to the graceful hammerheads that congregate at the Flower Garden Banks, sharks are some of the national marine sanctuaries’ most beautiful — and important — underwater residents. Find out more at:”

Get involved this Shark Week — support our conservation partners, and tune into Shark Week’s conservation-related shows on Discovery Channel.

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