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SYLLY: Shark Week Day 4 - When Sharks Fly

I'm very surprised by the lack of shark attack shows. By night four there is usually one or two shows peppered with gruesome images and scarred survivors, but none so far. Shark research shows made their mark tonight along with shark charities. Air Jaws: Back From the Dead, followed by Shark Tank Meets Shark Week, and Sharkcam Stakeout make our lineup for night four.

Feet first first time!

Air Jaws: Back From the Dead

Sadly no zombie sharks appeared in this episode. Air Jaws has been a staple for Shark Week since 2001. It's like the fruit cake at Christmas, just kinda always there. In Air Jaws: The Hunted on night three of Shark Week we discovered that the great white sharks have abandoned South Africa, which means there are no sharks for Chris Fallows to film breaching the surface, which means he didn't really have any material for a show this year. So Discovery Channel did a "catch up" episode with snips of all the previous Air Jaws episodes.

Chris Fallows is a shark expert and Jeff Kurr is a filmmaker who has been with him since 2001 when they were the first to record great white sharks breaching the surface of the water to feed on seals in South Africa. They have been doing it ever since. But now that there are no more sharks in South Africa they are going to film great white sharks breaching the surface of the water to feed in New Zealand! Talk about beating a dead horse.

Great white sharks are iconic and seeing them breach 12 to 18 feet and 3000 pounds of shark completely out of the water is awesome but, its time for Fallows and Kurr to learn a new shtick. This episode was just like the Shark Week pre-game episode of Alien Sharks Greatest Hits that aired right before Shark Week officially began, there was nothing new about either.

Shark Tank Meets Shark Week

ABC's Shark Tank hosts Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran, and Kevin O'Leary all go on separate celebrity shark dives. But shark dives for a cause is the twist here. I admit I have never watched Shark Tank but it was fairly easy to figure out. These four hosts had to compete against each other to win $50,000 fo their chosen shark non-profit.

Daymond John was presenting for Bahamas National Trust.
Kevin O'Leary was presenting for The Georgia Aquarium
Barbara Corcoran was presenting for The University of Miami
Mark Cuban was presenting for Shark Allies

This was the BEST celebrity shark dive I have ever seen on Shark Week! These four people actually educated themselves and personally experienced their chosen shark non-profit organization. They presented facts about shark conservation, statistics about the astonishing number of sharks the fishing industries murder every hour, and gave compelling proposals for their chosen shark organizations. The details about how expensive it is to run a shark conservation organization, and how many there are was a fantastic addition to Shark Week. In the End Daymond Johns and The Bahamas National Trust won the $50,000 and Johns doubled it out of his own pocket. I would have voted for Mark Cuban but the sharks are the winners no matter what.

Sharkcam Stakeout

Sharkcam is a robo sub that is equipped with Six cameras and a tracking system that follows a tagged shark. It provides direct observations of sharks that keeps humans out of harms way and goes where humans can't. It also provides records on depth, position, and speed of the shark it is tracking.

Dr. Greg Skomal and his team developed sharkcam to study great white sharks. This year they have made the tag smaller so they can try to study bull sharks. Bull sharks are the most aggressive species of shark. They are responsible for the most human deaths of any shark species. They can live in salt water and freshwater. They have been recorded as far as 800 miles up the Mississippi River in fresh water.

This is the first time a bull shark has ever been video tracked. Sharkcam has provided a lot of new information about bull sharks. They have always been thought to spend all their time close to shore hunting but were tracked out to the open ocean. With an underwater unmanned recording device it is so much easier to see how the sharks behave naturally. It allows researchers to safely observe predatory behaviors. Eventually technology like sharkcam will help dispel some of the notions about sharks laying in wait to eat humans that go in the water.

All of the shark conservation non-profit organizations information can be found on Discovery Channels website if you were interested in learning more about them. New information and shark educated celebrities and their fans is what Shark Week is supposed to be doing. Mission accomplished for tonight. Flying sharks are awesome but after 17 years find something else to teach us, because we have this down already. Day four is in the can and still no gore, Education - 1 Sensationalism - 0

Sylvia Papineau is an Arcade resident and self-proclaimed Shark Week 'finatic.' Watch All WNY News all week for her take on Shark Week 2018 specials. 

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