I love 'em. They're beautiful, powerful, and incredibly misunderstood. Did you know that juvenile Great Whites swim with the surfers every day in Malibu and don't bother anyone?
It's true. One of my favorite show is NatGeo's Shark Men. Two expert fisherman (Chris Fischer and Captain Brett McBride from OffshoreAdventures) have teamed up with scientist Dr. Michael Domeir to tag and study Great White Sharks. But they aren't using the spear and pop-up tags. These guys are LANDING the shark on their ship, the MV Ocean.
Once the shark takes the ginormous hook with some yummy, stinky bait, the guys jump on a secondary boat and spend hours wearing the shark out until they can guide it onto the landing deck. Then they've got 20 min or less to tag it with a five year transmitter, get its measurements, and draw blood. To date, the biggest they've landed is a 20 foot female named Amy.
I'm so jealous of these guys. They not only get to go to parts of the ocean most of us will never see, but they get to be up close and personal with one of Mother Nature's most awesome creations.
And their research is paying off. By getting the sharks out of the water and tagging them with long-term tags, they're learning more than ever. They're able to track the sharks to their foraging areas, and they're getting close to figuring out where sharks give birth, something that's never been documented.
Research shows that Great Whites aren't a vicious as the movies would have us believe. Their mouth is the epicenter of their nervous system, and most bites are actually the shark sampling, trying to figure out what's in the water. Humans aren't on the Great White menu, or the surfers in Malibu would be chum.
Great Whites are one of the ocean's greatest predators, helping to keep the ocean's delicate balance. But because of over catching and getting caught in fishing nets, they're now endangered.
It's Shark Week and you know what that means: 24/7 coverage of some of the oceans' most alluring predators. But what you may not know is sharks are in danger from the world's most terrifying predators: humans.
Sharks are being fished faster than they can reproduce and their numbers are declining - and fast. Some U.S. hammerhead populations have dropped an alarming 98% in recent decades.
If we keep fishing at this rate, soon there will be no more sharks swimming in our waters and Shark Week will be our only chance to see these amazing creatures - OCEANA.org
It's not fair. This animal has gotten such a bad rap, and all they want to do is exist. Yet humans are continually encroaching on their territory, much like the tiger, and now we're losing them.
Shark Week likes to show the more startling sides of the sharks: the teeth, the creepy dorsal fin sticking out of the water, and the shark snagging a baby seal. But the Discovery Channel also works hard to show us the importance of the shark in nature.
Shark Men takes things a step further. Domeir and Fischer believe that by learning the shark's migratory patterns, they have a better chance of saving them.
I think they're right. And every time I watch the show, I want to be one of the divers getting into the water (sometimes without a cage) while the Great Whites flock the bait.
Great White Facts
Great White Shark meat is not recommended for human consumption because it has very high mercury levels.
Great White Sharks try to avoid fighting for food. When there is only enough food for one, they have a tail-slapping contest. The sharks swim past each other, each slapping the surface of the water with their tails, and often directing the spray toward the other shark. The one who gets the meal is the shark that delivers the most tail slaps.
Great White sharks live along the coasts of all continents except Antarctica.
The Great White Shark have an enormous liver that can weigh up to 24 percent of its entire weight.
The Great White Shark lives for about 25 years.
Great White Sharks rarely attack people and when they do, it is because they mistaken the person for their usual seal prey.
Scientists estimate that after a big meal, a Great White Shark can last up to three months before needing another one.
A Great White Shark can roll its eyeballs back, which protects the vital front part of the eye from being scratched.
Some scientists believe there are less than 10,000 Great White Sharks in the entire world.
Great White Sharks breed late in life. They do not start breeding until they’re at least twenty years old.
More than 70 percent of known victims of Great White Shark Attacks survive because the shark realizes it has made a mistake and doesn’t finish off the prey.
What do you guys think of the Great White? What are some other misunderstood animals?