Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Time after time, Patric over there at Underwater Thrills comes up with some truly epic posts.

Like his analysis of this year's obscene programming for Shark Week.
Here's what Patric has to say

Discovery Networks - Reinventing Sea Monsters

This years Shark Week has revealed a bacchanalia of man made shark horror well beyond any concerns the shark conservation community and commercial shark diving community could have fathomed.

Without a doubt Discovery Networks have reinvented Sea Monsters, erroneously establishing the shark as the most feared predator on the planet.

34 years after JAWS, and 34 years of conservation science discoveries, pro-shark media, and conservation themed initiatives have been swept away by the 2009 Discovery Channel anti-shark juggernaut. This year broadcast in gory, blood soaked HD, to an estimated 30 million domestic viewers.
Great for advertising revenues, lousy for the perception of sharks worldwide who have been thrown back to the stone age with last nights docu drama, "Blood in the water" and this weeks entire line up of gratuitous Shark Porn.

As a commercial shark diving operator I find over hyping one small facet of a sharks entire Raison d'etre to be patently dishonest and a disservice to animals that are suffering one of the highest rates of destruction on the planet.

Approximately 90 million sharks are killed each year. That's a stunning statistic.
And yet Discovery Networks feels compelled to bring back the 1970's shark mythos, blood and fear, with absolutely no Sympathy for the Devil.

At the same time Discovery Networks have rolled out a simply draconian and somewhat East Bloc ham fisted media campaign showing conservation for sharks. An afterthought pushed out by Discovery and it's hand selected group of "Shark Porn Programming Apologists" to mollify the growing push back from an appalled research, science, and commercial dive community.

To those who are supporting the very dark decision by Discovery Network executives to bring back, promote, and hype the fear of sharks, rethink your position.
At a critical time when sharks, as a measure of the health of our oceans, need as much support as we can give them, programming decisions that demonize these animals for ratings, ad sales, and corporate profits are wrong, dishonest, and bordering on fraudulent.

Discovery started Shark Week 20 years ago with programming that was fresh, alive and informative. Our company along with many others have been involved in some of that programming and happy with the results.
Early Shark Week programming started with unflinching production companies striving to produce they best they could, fully engaging local operators to introduce them to the full range of shark behaviors.

Discovery has officially lost it's way.
It can come back, hopefully this is the final year of Shark Porn.
Hopefully those within the community who are currently in bed with Discovery Networks "will see the light".
As both the alcohol and tobacco industries have discovered you cannot sell these toxic brands to minors and then ask them to "drink and smoke responsibly".
Discovery Networks cannot sell fear and loathing of sharks...and then push for conservation.

Patric Douglas CEO


Bravo my friend and of course I fully concur! As so often!
Which of course leads me straight over to the role we, the Shark Diving Industry have continued to play in this fiasco - and the role we must play in the future.

But that's the topic for another post.


Anonymous said...

Sorry if this is off topic but I’m thinking of buying this book. Curious if anyone’s has checked out the new book “Hell’s Aquarium” by Steve Alten? I know he’s been a best selling author before, but wanted to see if anyone had read this book first? It’s about the ancient prehistoric shark Megalodon, which makes the current Great White Shark look like a gold fish. Check out the trailer below, pretty awesome:


DaShark said...

Assuming yer legit and not just trying to place your marketing: go ask these guys http://southernfriedscience.com/, they seem 2b fans of that kind of stuff

james said...

Booo! Booo!

That was THE WORST Shark Week Ever!