Paul J. Clerkin is a graduate researcher at the Pacific Shark Research Center of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Moss Landing, California. Clerkin specializes in rare and deep-sea chondrichthyans and is focusing on new species descriptions and life histories of poorly understood sharks species. His thesis work is with Dr. David A. Ebert studying sharks encountered during two surveys in the Southern Indian Ocean in 2012 and 2014, a total of 126 days at sea. He has also conducted research for other projects aboard ships in the Bering Sea, South East Atlantic, Philippine Sea, and across the Pacific. He was featured in the “Alien Sharks” series on Shark Week.
This week, Travel Channel is airing a pilot for my new series, Deep Sea Mysteries (“like” our page on Facebook!). In the course of research, I visit extraordinary fishing communities to find and study rare, poorly known and even undescribed species. This show is the first of its kind, different from the Shark Week programs I’ve done in the past. It continues a focus on sharks and other deep-sea animals, but is notably (and pleasantly) more educational. There are more species, more facts, more science, and an emphasis on conservation effort.
Also, as a travel show, the series combs through the beautiful regions, interesting people and unique stories behind each expedition.
One of my favorite aspects of exploration is working with local fishers. They are consistently kind-hearted, despite their salty reputations, and many have been working on these boats since before I was born. Operating based on traditional knowledge, they know more about the animals in their areas than any scientist around the globe.
We live on land, so we like to think of our planet as terrestrial; however, most of our planet is aquatic. Sharks, skates, and rays are among our oceans’ most successful and important marine species, acting as top predators in nearly all the environments they inhabit. However, we know relatively little about our planet’s shark species or where and how they live.
By joining the local fishers on their boats out at sea, I hope to unfold the mysteries of shark life history obscured beneath layers of foreign culture I could neither explore on a research budget, nor learn about in a textbook.
Deep Sea Mysteries is the full package: an action adventure series documenting researchers and fishers joining to explore the depths of our world’s most essential environments and their inhabitants. Join Travel Channel for a journey through our first location: Taiwan and the Philippine Sea. Please watch the pilot on Travel Channel:
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 15th
5PM / 4PM Central
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 17th
4PM / 3PM Central
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 23rd
12PM / 11AM Central