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SYLLY: Shark Week 31 Night 4: Lights, Camera, Action!

Night 4 gave us some new stuff! While a shark movie is not really research or educational, shark movies make me happy. So I will take it. And sharks coming back from the dead, Zombie sharks, but not really, is just awesome.


Extinct or Alive: The Lost Shark

Biologist Forrest Galante is on a mission to find a shark last seen in 1979 and believed to be extinct. Photos of sharks unable to be identified in the Indian Ocean may be the possibly not extinct Pondicherry shark. Pondicherry sharks have an unusual trait that they share only with the bull shark, they can adapt to fresh water so they could be anywhere.

The fishing trade in India is unregulated so sharks have no protection there. You get to see a shark cleaning station with the symbiotic relationship of sharks and certain kinds of fish in an unstudied reef. The sharks you mainly see are silver tips, big eye threshers, tigers, bulls, black tip reefs, white tip reefs, and a whale shark.

During the episode they discover a dead shark in a fishing village that was taken from the Menik Ganga River in the Yala National Park in Sri Lanka. Testing on the shark proves it to be the no longer extinct Pondicherry shark. Additionally, since the episode filmed Forrest’s team has found an additional 10 Pondicherry sharks in Sri Lanka and it has been removed from the extinct list and added to the critically endangered list.

New research and new sharks are fantastic. I love great whites and the genius that brought you “Great whites every night” is my hero, but there are SO many other sharks to research and show. Something different is always refreshing and new things to learn is what keeps us going. BTW. There were no great white’s tonight so my hero has some splaining to do.


Capsized: Blood in the Water

Shark Week has been hyping this since before Shark Week even started this year. They advertised it as the “first ever” scripted Shark Week movie. Probably hoping we forgot about the Megalodon fiasco. First it was a documentary then they called it a movie. Either way Megalodon was awful. This movie obviously had a bigger budget and actually had little to not sets, it was open water and a dingy.

In October of 1982 Deborah Scaling Kiley set sail from Maine with Brad Cavanagh, Mark Adams, Meg Mooney and Captain John Lippoh. In the movie they set out from Maryland. The boat capsized in a storm and the five were adrift in a dinghy.  This is not the first movie made about this story and Deborah Kiley wrote three books about her survival story. The movie watered down the captain the make Josh Duhamel’s character likeable. In the book he and Mark Adams were very much alike and drunk for the voyage and drank sea water and went mad when they were adrift. Meg Mooney died of sepsis and they had to cast her body into the sea. Deborah Kiley and Brad Cavanagh lasted 131 hours in a small dinghy before being spotted and rescued by a Soviet cargo freighter.

There is nothing like adversity to bring out the worst in human nature. How quickly people are willing to sacrifice others to save themselves.  The movie did well in showing that it was noise that attracted the sharks, though they still hinted it may be the blood by showing it so prominently in the water. I was a little irked that you couldn’t tell what kind of sharks they were until the end though. The sharks in the scenes with the actors were obviously not real but they could have shown more of them. The tiger shark at the very end was real footage, just not filmed at the same time as the actors of course.

I enjoyed this night of programming, just enough different shark research to balance out the cinematic sharks and lack of science in the movie. On a completely different note: Has anyone else noticed the problem with Shark Week’s extended eighth night’s subject Serengeti?

Tonight’s programming begins at 8PM with Return to Shark Island. Great White Kill Zone: Guadalupe. Monster Mako: Perfect Predator.

Sylvia Papineau is an Arcade resident and self-proclaimed Shark Week 'finatic.' Watch All WNY News all week for her take on Shark Week 2019 specials. 

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