Sunday, July 3, 2016

Double Shark Sunday

Hello everyone and welcome once again. Today I will be covering two quick topics, both of which are shark related. First I'll be taking a quick look at this year's Shark Week that has come to an end. Then I will take a look at some historical events.

So I have a confession to start off this blog. I had nooooooo idea that Shark Week was actually starting on June 26th. I don't know if it's because I haven't been watching much in the way of television as of late or what, but I basically accidentally stumbled upon it. I just happened to see last year's Monster Mako was on so I tuned in and saw a countdown to the start of Shark Week. So my thoughts on this year's installment of Shark Week from what I've seen is as follows. Overall I thought this was the quietest Shark Week I've seen in years. My social media accounts weren't blowing up with it as in years past, I didn't hear people at work talking about it, and I didn't even hear much about it from local aquariums. The programming itself from what I saw, was not all that terrible. Of course you had the stupid shows focusing in on sharks hunting people and how dangerous and deadly they are. At the same time though there were actually some scientific shows that I personally found quite interesting. Sharks versus Dolphins I found to be a really good show aside from a comment about tiger sharks being man eaters. It showed quite a few different scenarios in which various species of sharks and dolphins deal with each other. It was a pretty good show and if you have any interest in sharks or dolphins, it's certainly worth checking out. The shark fin cams were pretty cool to see on different shows and really gives the audience a look at what a shark sees during the course of a day. So my overall reaction to Shark Week this year as it wraps up is better than it's been. I don't feel the need to rip different shows apart as I have in the past as many of these shows focused more on the sharks and different research as opposed to sharks doing nothing but finding ways to hunt down humans. Shark Week concludes tonight and I hope it does respectfully so. My only major gripe this year was the constant promoting of the movie "The Shallows". This movie from all previews appears to be another shark attack Jaws esque movie. At one point during a promo someone says they made the movie while respecting the shark. Seeing a massive shark breach and grab a human then stalk another for the rest of the movie is not a sign of respect. Instead it's something that just further pushes the stereotype people have for most sharks. Vicious man eaters that is...

In other, more local news to me... Two days ago was the official 100th anniversary of the start of what is commonly known as the twelve days of terror. For those of you who don't know, the twelve days of terror took place from July 1st through 12th which saw four people killed and once person badly injured by a shark. Nobody knows as to whether or not there was one or multiple sharks were responsible for the attacks. Nobody even knows for sure which species of shark was responsible. Most people believe either the great white or the bull shark was responsible for these attacks. These attacks would change the country's view on sharks forever. It is these shark attacks that the movie Jaws was modeled after. Yes it is ironic that the shark in Jaws is a great white when a great white may not have even been responsible. While the 100th anniversary is certainly something to remember and those who lost their lives should absolutely be remembered I bring this anniversary up for a different reason.

Of course the shark attacks of 1916 made the front page of several local papers over the past few days, but something else has been floating moreso around social media. That is scientists claiming this year could see a repeat of the 1916 attacks due to the amount of sharks seen close to shore in recent years. Well..... So far this year an unidentified species of shark was spotted following a pod of dolphins off of Deal New Jersey which caused the lifeguards to pull all swimmers out of the water for several hours. Today I just watched a clip of a news broadcast showing a great white that was seen roughly three miles off the coast. Of course those two reports coupled with "scientists" claiming that there is a good chance for a series of attacks this year and the 100th anniversary of the 1916 attacks has gotten a lot of people on edge. All I can say about it all is that the sighting of two sharks means nothing. Sharks are seen every year. Some are close to shore, some aren't. Last year it was a hammerhead in close to shore. Before that it was a blue shark. The list goes on and on. Point is nobody was "attacked". The scientist claims? I have zero clue what science they are using to put that statistic together. Again. There are sharks here every year. Each year goes by without problem so I'm not sure why the alarms are going off that we're in for a repeat of 1916. Lastly all the reminders of 1916 fail to be more about the lives of the victims rather than the fact that they were attacked. Many people right now are going around saying "In 1916 sharks attacked 5 people in New Jersey!" yet so many don't know who or any of the circumstances surrounding the attacks. In closing, I do not think there is any kind of elevated threat of a shark attack in New Jersey. The tiny threat remains a tiny threat as there is no real credible reason to believe that there is going to be an outbreak of attacks.

Thank you all for reading and have a safe and happy 4th of July for those of you in the USA. My next blog won't be until after the wedding on July 16th, so look for something new to pop up sometime after that!

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