Shark Week 2010: A big step in the right direction!

Disclaimer: Both the Southern Fried Scientist and I received a media care package from the Discovery Channel containing a t-shirt, an adopt-a-shark packet, and DVDs of two of the premieres. While I still have some criticisms, I wanted to start this review by saying that this year’s Shark Week was a lot better than any from the past few years. Before I review each premiere I need to acknowledge that I watched all of them at their later air times, not when they originally aired. The content of each premiere is the same, but I did not see the same commercials as everyone else, I never saw the Oceana PSA, I saw very few Craig Ferguson interludes, and I don’t know if there were any pop-up ads during the shows. This was an unavoidable inconvenience and hopefully doesn’t bias my review too much.

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Last year’s Shark Week coverage

The online shark science community has been critical of the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” in the past because some of the documentaries promote fear of sharks at a time when we should be promoting respect and conservation. According to the Dorsal Fin blog, this year is looking like it will bring us more of the same, though one particular story won’t be covered because it happened so recently.  Since Shark Week is starting to be discussed again by the blogosphere, I am re-posting all of last year’s Shark Week coverage. This includes an interview with the Discovery Channel’s Senior Science Editor (originally here), a detailed evaluation of each of the Shark Week specials (originally here), and ten suggestions for how to improve future Shark Week programming (originally here). All of the original comments are preserved at the old site.

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Four things everyone needs to know about sharks: A shark conservation documentary and lesson plan

One week after the world premier at the Benthic Ecology conference’s Beneath the Waves Film Festival, I am pleased to announce that my new shark conservation mini-documentary, “four things everyone needs to know about sharks”, is now available on YouTube.

Check it out here:

If you are an educator, the movie is intended to be part of a lesson plan about shark conservation. I have created a middle school version, a high school version, and a college version. Contact me at WhySharksMatter AT gmail DOT com with the subject “Shark Lesson Plan” and I’ll send you what I have, or we can discuss making a custom lesson plan that suits the specific needs of your class.

If you are not an educator but care about sharks, the movie can be a stand-alone way to educate your friends, family, coworkers, classmates, etc.

Please let me know what you think about the video by commenting on this blog post.

Thanks to all of my photographer and musician partners in this project!

Check out their websites:

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