Shark week

I love ‘Shark Week’ on the Discovery channel. It’s actually been running for 23 years, which just goes to show how fascinated we are with everything to do with sharks. The trouble is with the series is while they ‘support’ sharks and claim that Shark Week is also a powerful platform to raise awareness about the dangers sharks face from commercial fishing, which kills more than 100 million sharks worldwide each year, the programme uses sensationalist stories about shark attacks to publicise the TV show.

This year, Discovery is donating money to support conservation organization Oceana’s campaign to ban the practice of shark finning, where the fins of a shark are sliced off and the remainder of the animal is left to die in the water, which is a very worthwhile cause but they know what their viewers want to see and that’s shark attacks. Take a look at the publicity shots and video for this years series. Of course the movie Jaws did the damage, countless numbers of people were left traumatized by the film. Looking back the special effects were not that impressive but the music alone was terrifying enough.

So is it any wonder that film makers and documentary producers continue to play on our fear of sharks? They are after all the closest thing we have to monsters on our planet.

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