Jaw-some! My Thoughts On Shark Week 2019

Well, another Shark Week is over and the long wait for next year’s programming begins.  Overall, this was a fantastic year and I feel as if the content of the shows has really changed (for the better) since I first started watching Shark Week.  There are less shows about shark attacks, and more shows about studying sharks.  I do wish, however, more of this years shows had drawn attention to shark conservation and the negative impacts of climate change on marine environments.  That’s not to say there wasn’t any of that in this year’s lineup – plenty of shows brought up shark conservation.  Given that climate change is becoming a more common topic in the media, I had expected that many more of the stories about shark research and education would have made more of an effort to address the negative impact that humans have on the lives of sharks.  That being said, this was still a fantastic year and I hope that Shark Week 2020 is able to draw even more attention to these issues.

Top 3 Least Favourite Shark Week Shows of 2019:

  • Capsized: Blood In the Water: This really had no place being a part of Shark Week.  This mediocre tv movie was barely about sharks. And when sharks were on screen, they were vilified. Apart from a little bit of information about surviving at sea (which we got from other Shark Week shows) this film had no educational value.
  • I Was Prey: Shark Week: Although shark attack shows have typically been standard fare for Shark Week, I feel like they are no longer appropriate.  The goal of Shark Week should be to educate viewers about sharks so that these predators can become less feared.  Shows like this have the opposite effect.
  • Sharks Gone Wild 2: It was nothing but fluff.  Other than the footage of sharks, this show really had nothing valuable to offer.  It was just a clip show made up of posts from social media.  I didn’t learn anything new – or anything at all, for that matter – and I was only just barely entertained.

Top 3 Favourite Shark Week Shows of 2019:

Although Sharkwater: Extinction was probably the strongest of all of the Shark Week offerings, this was a Rob Stewart documentary and not a Discovery Channel show.  So although it is definitely in my top 3 for the whole week, I’ve decided to keep it in a separate category and simply present my top 3 Discovery Channel Shark Week shows:

  • The Sharks of Headstone Hell: This was an absolutely fantastic show! I had never heard of these particular tiger sharks before, and their unique situation was really fun to learn about.  Their habitat is the perfect example of how sharks and humans can coexist without fear of an attack.  I REALLY hope to see some sequels about these sharks in future years.
  • Expedition Unknown: Megalodon: There is so little known about prehistoric sharks because their cartilage skeletons do not become fossils, so I really enjoy when Shark Week airs episodes about them. Although the lack of fossils means that these kinds of episodes will continue to be rare, I would love to see more  paleontologists added to the roster of Shark Week experts.
  • Laws of Jaws: Dangerous Waters: If there has to be a shark attack style of show, this is the kind I would prefer.  Rather than simply airing stories of vicious attacks, these kinds of shows examine the science behind the attacks. In this situation, education is preferable to fear mongering.

So that’s it.  Shark Week is over. But… Why not live every week like it’s Shark Week? Continue to show love for these fin-tastic and jaw-some predators throughout the year; it helps ease the pain of waiting a whole year for the next Shark Week. Continue to watch nature documentaries and educate yourselves about the creatures you love and the planet we live on. And continue to contribute to conservation efforts your own unique way; a 100% eco-friendly lifestyle is not always an option for everyone, so do what works best for you. I will do my part and I will continue to show my love for sharks year round.  Can’t wait for Shark Week 2020!

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle…  And show some love for sharks!

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