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Article: Should Shark Week Focus on Conservation?

Discussion in 'ScubaBoard Articles' started by Georgienne Bradley, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Georgienne Bradley

    Georgienne Bradley Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Malibu, California, United States
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  2. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,643
    5,663
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    This year I thought would be the first that I actually watched some of "Shark Week." I avoided it in the past due to the sensationalism, and did away with TV altogether the last two years. I had heard there would be a much greater emphasis on education about shark depletion and conservation... but I've always had something better to do at night than going to our HOA common room to watch the show. I hope that it has listened to those of us who want the REAL story about sharks presented to the public rather than the hyper-sensationalized nonsense.

    I've dived in waters with great whites present for over 40 years now. Although I did have one swim by me a few years ago, all my appendages are still intact. I just wish the local shark population was. Back when I started diving SoCal in the 60s, blues and makos were very common sightings... now they are so rare, the boats rarely offer "shark dives" any more.
     
  3. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,643
    5,663
    113
    Duplicate post due to SB database error
     
  4. Chris Horn

    Chris Horn Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Buffalo, MO
    77
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    At the end of the day, its their show. What business is it of our to tell them to change the way they air it? It causes phobia? So do airplanes and snakes but we didn't throw a fit about "Snakes on a Plane". Have we as a society really become so self centered that everything that anyone else does has direct implications of how we live our personal life? In fact I do find educational items in Shark Week, I do find some hilarity and entertainment value there as well. I don't however feel as though Discovery (or any other entity) owes me anything. Obviously they are aiming their show at the masses so they can make money, obviously since the show has been on since 1987 they know how to accomplish that. No, I feel like when people rant (maybe too strong of a word in this case) on article/posts like that for support it is the same as Trolling, if that is not the case, then that's ok its their opinion. I do not see the difference in one person saying we have to educate and another saying we have to entertain. Its the same coin with two sides. At the end of the day, its their show. Obviously this post has to do with a lot more than just this one instance of the self righteousness that is humanity in general and I do not want to come across as attacking the original article, BUT this is where I chose to publish my opinion, and it is just that, an opinion. Btw, I am completely outraged about shark finning, lack of conservation, and education, and I am definitely for any legislation that would help prevent it, point is we have no right to make someone else do it for us. Because as the article said, they are for profit and have no obligation to do so....welcome to the USA and the choices of being an adult. Oh and one other thing in case someone asks, no, I have never swam with any sharks but I certainly hope to soon.
     
  5. Chris Horn

    Chris Horn Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Buffalo, MO
    77
    7
    0
    oh, just so there was no confusion, not a single bit of that was aimed at you DrBill. I just happened to post after you. :)
     
  6. soonerwink

    soonerwink Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Glenpool, Oklahoma, United States
    782
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    I wish they would show the movie "Sharkwater" by Rob Stewart. It is a very educational documentary. I know it as been a few years since it was released, but I don't think I have seen it shown on cable television.
     
  7. FireInMyBones

    FireInMyBones Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Greenville, SC
    971
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    I too would love to see Sharkwater on shark week as well as This is your Ocean: Sharks. I used to love Shark Week. The thrill of the unknown that just might get you. It was better than any scary movie because, as far as I was concerned it was real and I got to cheat death with every visit to the beach. Once I became a diver, I realized how docile sharks can be. Can they still eat you? Yeah, sure, but with the proper care and precaution, it can be much less likely. Heck, if I wanted...I could eat you, smelling and dressing like a cheeseburger would not help your case. :D
     
    KY_BOB likes this.
  8. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States
    5,884
    3,004
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    Here is a link every member of the Scubaboard community should watch... The Best Shark Dive in the World!: Shark Week - Emma abused? This shows some a*sH*(les who the Discovery network is clearly happy to work with, causing massive abuse to the shark "Emma" now popularized in Jim Abernethy's film this "This is your Ocean:Sharks." This is Your Ocean: Sharks - The Film You can see Emma in the trailor in Jimmy's film, acting like a beloved pet....the shark clearly likes Jimmy, and their is no possible way to fictionalize this with film....you can see this, right from the trailer ( occurs about 3/4ths of the way through the trailer).

    The Discovery network has enabled guys who are essentially eco-criminals, in thier begavior to marine life, to make money from bad behaviors, and to perpetuate a defective understanding of sharks, one which will not help in defeating the destruction of the marine ecosystem, from the top, down.

    I think a massive Facebook campaign should be kicked off, where we try to get everyone we know to BOYCOTT any programming on the Discovery Network, until they stop enabling the slime of the world.
     
  9. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States
    5,884
    3,004
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    Actually Chris, it is a lot more than this.
    With over 90 percent of the sharks in the ocean already slaughtered for fins, the world is now facing a collapse of the trophic systems below these apex predators, now no longer there to act as "sherriffs" on the reefs, to control any imbalances where one species overpopulates, and begins causing massive damage.....You can look at Lionfish, as an invasion that would never have happened with a healthy, natural shark population, or..... You could look at the algae all over the corals throughout the world, do to the bottom level herbivores being eaten by low level predators, and no longer controlled because of removal of many levels of predators above them..... most significant being the sharks.
    If you want to learn about the best new understading of the impending collapse of the marine ecosystem, download " The Trophic downgrading of Planet Earth" by James A Estes et al. Here is an abstract--but you should get the full article: Trophic Downgrading of Planet Earth | Coral Magazine

    The shark in Jim Abernethy's film, This is your Ocean... "Emma", was depicted as an intelligent creature that empathized with some people, and had made friends with Jimmy....If you watch the film, or were to go on one of his dives with emma, there is no way this can be disputed. When people understand the reality of what these animals are, and the cruelty taking place, it can be compared to a scumbag beating a dog to death for amusement, or lighting cats on fire. This is essentially what the Discovery TV Network, is paying for right now....It is sick, and only a boycott of Discovery TV, which they become seriously aware of, will have any effect on this....
     
  10. marclyng

    marclyng Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: B.V.I.
    9
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    All I can say is that I started watching Shark Week in the late 80s when it first started and was fascinated with the shows. Lately though I have grown less interested in not only Shark Week but discovery channel and national geographic. To me it seams that the quality of the educational programing has decreased in order to create drama to appeal to a wider audience. It is for this reason I have not watched Shark week for three years now because the thought of animal exploitation comes to mind and how can you preach conservation in the middle of a drama circus? Discovery Channel shares the same interest in sharks as shark feeding tour operators do, there is a dollar to be made but since you can no longer just exploit an animal you have to spin it off as some sort of conservation effort or education.
     

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