Day 5: Island Sharks

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Super stoked to have a night of classic Shark Week goodness

After the previous night’s disappointment, Shark Week got  back on track with some solid shows.  Sequels, science, sharks… These episodes had it all.  Different shark species were featured throughout the night, and different aspects of these sharks were studied.  This was a well rounded viewing experience that showcased some of the best parts of Shark Week.  Although there were no “unique” shows last night, these were all the classic kinds of Shark Week shows that I have come to expect and look forward to.  These kinds of shows are the backbone of this special week. And shark conservation was brought up in two of the three episodes.  This was certainly a stronger night compared to the one before.

Return to Shark Island: This was the follow up to a 2015 Shark Week documentary.  Craig O’Connell returns to investigate why Réunion Island has the highest number of shark fatalities anywhere in the world.  This year’s documentary featured lots of film clips from the previous adventure in 2015, so there wasn’t quite as much new content as I was expecting.  This episode really highlighted the importance of conservation of both sharks and the natural environment. In a way, Réunion is a microcosm for what is happening/what could happen to sharks around the world.  Since the experimental barrier installed to keep the bull sharks away from the beaches takes months to test, I hope that next year we get another sequel to find out if the situation has improved.

Great White Kill Zone: Guadalupe: Melisa Marques and Yannis Papastamatiou spent seven days at Guadalupe Island, a known great white shark hot spot, to uncover the mystery of the kill zone.  Since the water around the island is so clear, it is practically impossible for a shark to launch the kind of ambush attack that is seen in, say, South Africa. So where are they hunting and making their kills? As the team tried to uncover the mystery, there was some absolutely gorgeous footage of great white sharks in these crystal clear waters. Spoiler: there is no kill zone – the whole area is a kill zone!

Monster Mako: Perfect Predator: The next installment of the Monster Mako shows brought more shark conservation to the evening lineup as Joe Romeiro and Devon Massyn  joined forces with Keith Poe to study these elusive sharks. The ultimate goal of their expedition was to better understand these awesome predators so that they can work to improve conservation efforts.  This is what Shark Week is all about for me: conservation through education. Unfortunately, a good amount of the episode was footage from the two previous Monster Mako shows, so there was not as much new mako content as I was hoping for (there was even more older footage used in this episode than in Return to Shark Island), but it was absolutely fantastic to learn a little bit more about these amazing sharks.

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