Two years ago, I was really harsh on Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. With good reason, in my opinion.
A week of television that was supposed to be a celebration of all things shark became one of not only more needless fear-mongering but one of outright deception as Shark Week gleefully gloated about how many people they tricked into believing Megalodon still exists.
I skipped last year, angered probably more than I should have been over a television show. I took my own advice, and watched SharkFest instead over on Nat Geo. But I decided to tune into Shark Week tonight, and was very pleasantly surprised by Sharks Among Us.
The show featured a scientist (whose name escapes me currently) determined to find a way to replace the shark nets that guard our beaches with something that will not only better protect us, but the sharks as well ( thousands of animals are killed every year by the nets. Not just sharks, but seals, dolphins, and whales as well). Using PVC pipes and magnets, he built something akin to an artificial kelp forest that shows promising results with multiple species.
But the success or failure of his experiments isn’t what was important. I was just happy to see someone who seems genuinely concerned for the welfare of the animals, working with real noted scientists and survivors. Sharks Among Us was everything Shark Week was supposed to be, showing us our impact upon these creatures and others that share their home while showing a genuine concern and respect for the sharks themselves.
Good job, Shark Week. If I’m going to rip you apart for your mistakes, I’ll give you credit when it’s due as well.
Already side-eyeing Wrath of the Great White Serial Killer though.
Image taken directly from Shark Week’s Facebook