Shark Week! Propoganda
I am disappointed, though not surprised, to see that the Discovery Channel’s Sharkweek programming is just another sensationalized series of programming showing the sharks as mindless eating machines. Sure, they pay lip service to the fact that sharks have more to fear from us than we do of them, but they have not shown (that I’ve seen) the horrible practice of finning the shark (cutting the fins and throwing the live animal into the water to drown) for profit.
Instead, the programming is chock full of “mindless” sharks attacking chumsicles and occasionally biting on the chainmail covered diver who is on top of the chumsicle. Yes folks, sharks eat frozen fish and if you are touching the frozen fish while a dozen sharks are eating at it, you are likely to be “Mindlessly” bitten. Just as if you stick your hand the food bowl of a dozen dogs, you are likely to get that hand bitten.
When you dive with the tiger sharks, you can expect your camera to be bumped by the shark. This is not news to a scuba diver. But, the discovery channel makes it out like the cameraman was under attack and had to defend himself from the animal. Most underwater photographers are happy to have a shark bump the camera, because it means you get an awesome picture!
As you watch these programs, pay particular attention to the videos of the person inside the shark cage. Often you’ll see a shot that was clearly taken from outside the cage. Then ask yourself, “If its so dangerous, who the hell is taking the video of the guy in the cage?” And, no. There is not a second cage. Its just a cameraman outside the cage, filming the guy in the cage, so it looks like the shark is so dangerous a cage is necessary to be in the water. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against people being in cages if they are afraid of sharks.
I just wish the programming were a bit more shark friendly and a bit less shark phobic.
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