Shark Week, or Human Week?

August 1, 2009, 9:43 am
Shark Week, or Human Week?
By Andrew C. Revkin

The Discovery Channel’s “ Shark Week” is here. There’s a decent amount of conservation info on the Web site and amid the saturation programming that’s otherwise focused on Carcharodon-style carnage. That may work as a kind of bait and switch, drawing eyes with fear and giving them data on environmental damage. (Here’s our review by Mike Hale.)

But I know more than a few marine conservationists and biologists who would rather see a week-long special, call it “Human Week,” on how humans have devastated marine ecosystems, and in particular have devastated shark species. (More here on overfishing, and prospects for change.)
Discovery’s Shark Week Web site asks, “What kind of shark are you?” Many biologists would ask, “What kind of species are we?”


  1. To be honest, I've never really seen these Discovery 'Shark' programs in the way you describe. Although there are the programs that document attacks and the 'fear' that sharks apparently generate among the public, this is usually 'car-crash' TV which appeals to the lowest common denominator in its viewers. But I must say I've also seen many other programs that calmly and logically document their majesty along with the danger that WE cause THEM, although I don't know whether these are aired by Discovery or not.



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