While Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” is one of the channel’s most watched features, the program — which attracted 2.5 million viewers in 2015 — has often been criticised for being too heavily focused on entertainment, rather than on science, conservation and understanding of sharks.
The early years of “Shark Week” were too focused on the man-eater and sensational aspects of shark encounters, although over the years this has moderated and the show series now helps more and more people respect and learn about the ocean’s greatest predators.
Another aspect of “Shark Week” that drew criticism was the absence of programs featuring the work of women.
This seems to be finally changing, with Mares blogger Hannah Medd noting that this year’s “Shark Week” featuring several programs with a strong female presence.
Some of the notable female shark researchers featured on “Shark Week” include:
- Victoria Elena Vasquez, featured on “Alien Sharks”
- Cristina Zenato and Lindsay Graff, featured on “Sharktacular”
- Ornella Weideli, featured on “Shark Storm”
- The work of Barbara Wueringer, featured on the “Sawfish Show.”
“Shark Week,” which started on July 23, 2017, features some great shows filmed at some of the best shark diving destinations in the world. Destinations like South Africa, the Bahamas, Cocos Islands, and more will feature during the week.
Hopefully this trend continues; by showcasing diversity, and enhancing the education and conservation content of “Shark Week,” more viewers should become aware of the plight of these magnificent predators in our oceans, and become advocates for saving sharks, Medd writes.
Check out Hannah Medd’s blog entry on the Mares website here.