Monday, July 28, 2008

Shark Week - frightening swimmers right back out of the water

From the 2007 New York Daily News Entertainment Guide:

"The folks a Discovery Channel are at it again!
Just as the weather heats up, sending throngs to the beach, Discovery Channel kicks off its annual "Shark Week," which is sure to frighten some swimmers right back out of the water.
In keeping with that theme, the week-long bite fest begins tonight at 9 with "Ocean of Fear: Worst Shark Attack Ever," a two-hour special. (........)
"I get on the back of a hammerhead shark and get rammed by a great white shark," he says. "Wow, for me, it's almost euphoric. You think you're touching a beast that if it really wanted to could rip you apart.
"That, of course, is the concept of "Shark Week," playing off that fear."

Last year, we blogged about an open letter to Discovery addressing the principal grievances of the Shark Conservation community. It was an excellent letter (and one of my better posts) and quite frankly, I was encouraged and hopeful that something would change.

Has it? - You be the judge

Mithbusters: Do dogs attract sharks? Do the vibrations caused by a flapping injured fish attract sharks? Does chili powder repel sharks?

Surviving Sharks: While in South Africa, Les and marine biologist Jeremiah Sullivan conduct an analysis of the great white's bite, and test whether kicking and splashing attracts sharks, and if it's safer to stay in a group or tread water alone if stranded in the ocean.

Day of the Shark: Do shark encounters happen more frequently in the morning or night? This special chronicles six recent shark attacks that took place at different times of day. Top shark experts weigh in on what time of day is better or worse for avoiding sharks.

How not to become Shark Bait: In the process, viewers learn strategies for staying safe when in the water.

So, it's still all about Them versus Us.
Not about how We kill them by the millions, but about how They are lurking just off the beach waiting to devour us. And sorry, the fake Shark Conservation Blog by the Ocean Conservancy isn't fooling anybody - but nice try guys...

It's gonna be just like in 2007: playing off the fear and frightening some swimmers right back out of the water.


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