Shark Week Summary
Tagging great whites with satellite devices to track their migration patterns … testing the strength of chain mail in the middle of a reef shark feeding frenzy … preparing chum, a mixture of chopped fish parts and blood used to attract sharks – SHARK WEEK host Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) finds out that working with sharks can be extremely dirty work.
Cable television's longest-running programming event, SHARK WEEK first premiered in 1988 and remains a viewer favorite. Last year, SHARK WEEK was watched by 20.6 million people with eight million people tuning in to the premiere special, MythBusters: Jaws Special.
SHARK WEEK kicks off on Discovery Channel Sunday, July 30 with Mike Rowe's two-hour special Dirty Jobs: Jobs That Bite, and ends Friday, August 4 with the one-hour special Dirty Jobs: Jobs That Bite Harder. Mike shows viewers how these jobs help further our knowledge about sharks and shark behavior by, among other things, making and testing shark repellants and chain mail protective suits – and then diving amid a hungry group of sharks to test them.
SHARK WEEK is produced in conjunction with leading shark researchers around the world, and provides viewers with valuable knowledge about the behavior and characteristics of this diverse and majestic species.
SHARK WEEK 2006 SCHEDULE:
DIRTY JOBS: JOBS THAT BITE
Sunday, July 30, 9-11 PM (ET/PT) - World Premiere
To kick off Shark Week 2006, fearless host Mike Rowe (of Discovery's Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch series) travels the globe to meet people whose jobs really "bite" – the dedicated men and women who work with sharks. For this two-hour world premiere special, Mike encounters a variety of sharks, from great whites to reef sharks.
In South Africa , Mike joins Captain Brian McFarland aboard the boat he uses to take tourists to view great white sharks. After helping the crew prepare chum (a yummy mixture of fish parts and blood used to attract sharks), Mike descends into the ocean inside a cage to meet face-to-face with the majestic great white.
Rolling up his sleeves, Mike dissects a nine-foot tiger shark that was found dead off the coast of South Africa. He learns quickly that being a necropsy technician is a very dirty job, and that the information learned from these dissections is used to help humans better understand shark behavior, evolution, health and current environmental factors that may affect the shark population.
Mike boards a research vessel at the Marine Coastal Management Agency and helps the team tag great whites with satellite devices that are used to provide researchers with important information about the sharks' migration patterns. He also tries his hand at "shark spotting" with men and women hired by the South African government. Their job is to stand on cliff sides and watch for sharks that might be swimming near public beaches. Here, Mike learns the tricks of the trade from a man who's been protecting the beaches of South Africa for nearly ten years.
Heading to the Bahamas , Mike teams up with a company dedicated to making repellants that protect swimmers who come in contact with sharks. As Mike learns, a key ingredient of shark repellant is rotten sharks. After spending an afternoon chopping up rotten sharks covered in flies, Mike meets a chemist who shows him how the repellant is created. Then, in his dirtiest SHARK WEEK job yet, Mike heads into the water to test it out... on himself.
On Friday, August 4, look for Mike as he closes out SHARK WEEK with more Dirty Jobs: Jobs That Bite Harder.
SHARK ATTACK SURVIVORS
Monday, July 31, 9-10 PM (ET/PT) – World Premiere
Sharks have evolved into nature's ultimate predator. Built like torpedoes, sharks possess incredible sensory organs that allow them to zero in and attack their prey with almost inescapable odds. This world premiere special exposes the truth about the world's most efficient marine predator through an examination of shark attack case studies and first-hand accounts, including: a man who battled for his life in a struggle to free himself from the grasp of a bull shark's razor-sharp teeth; a surfer who was attacked by a 19-foot great white; and a young boy who fought free from an attack. The program delivers real information on how to avoid or survive a shark encounter, and joins forces with shark experts to reveal the science and psychology behind shark behavior patterns, explaining how sharks select their prey and why shark attacks occur.
Tuesday, August 1, 9-10 PM (ET/PT) – World Premiere
Is there such a thing as a perfect shark? After all, sharks have been evolving for 400 million years. Host Mike deGruy, who has filmed sharks for over 30 years, heads out in the world's oceans in search of perfection in its top predators, examining the most streamlined and extreme designs of shark today. Mike also steps back in time to look at sharks of the prehistoric past, via a virtual aquarium that allows him to conjure up and interact with images of any shark that ever lived.
So which shark is the most perfectly designed? Mike examines a wide variety of suspects, including: the great white, growing up to 20 feet long and possessing a streamlined body, massive jaws and serrated teeth; the extinct Megalodon, which at up to 60 feet in length was the largest shark ever known, with the ability to slice through whales; filter-feeders like the enormous whale shark, the coldwater-dwelling basking shark and the deep-sea megamouth shark; sharks that possess unusual jaws and teeth, such as the cookiecutter shark, the dusky shark or the prehistoric Helicoprion; the mako, the world's fastest shark; and the tough bull shark, one of the few sharks that can be found in both fresh and salt water.
SHARKS: ARE THEY HUNTING US?
Wednesday, August 2, 9-10 PM (ET/PT) – World Premiere
Nothing captures the headlines like a shark attack. Each account clouds the waters with information that fuels our fear, but may not provide all the facts. This one-hour premiere documentary hosted by animal behaviorist Dave Salmoni, a relative "newbie" around sharks, will expose what's real and what's not, and examines the truth about so-called "man-eating" sharks. Dave travels to meet with shark experts and examine the questions – Are sharks pack hunters like lions or wolves? Do they have a taste for human flesh? Are attacks really on the rise?
Thursday, August 3, 9-10 PM (ET/PT) – World Premiere
Recife is a beautiful Brazilian city with a big problem. For centuries a long strip of coral has protected this Brazilian port's swimmers from sharks. Before 1992, only one attack was recorded in 75 years. However, in the past decade, there have been an astonishing 45 attacks, with 16 fatalities. For this world premiere special, acclaimed Brazilian filmmaker Lawrence Wahba set out to find out what may have changed to cause this increase in attacks. Is it the sharks themselves? Does it have something to do with the ocean's depths or the reef? Or could it be human encroachment? Wahba follows the trail of evidence -- consulting witnesses, an international team of scientists (including Dan Huber of the University of Florida ), rescuers and victims -- and dives into the water to witness the sharks in their natural territory.
DIRTY JOBS: JOBS THAT BITE HARDER
Friday, August 4, 9-10 PM (ET/PT) – World Premiere
Mike Rowe is back with another hour of dirty jobs with the men and women who work with sharks. In this hour-long premiere, Mike gets dirty at a company that makes fiberglass replicas of sharks that fishermen have caught and will later release. His first assignment is to make a plaster mold from a shark that was caught off the coast of Florida . This mold will be used to make thousands of shark replicas. After completing the messy mold process, Mike masters the art of casting a fiberglass shark, and then heads to the paint department to finish the job.
Finally, Mike heads to the Bahamas with Jeremiah Sullivan, the inventor of the Neptunic shark suit – a chain mail armor to protect divers from shark attacks. After helping Jeremiah weld hundreds of small metal rings together to repair a suit, Mike tests it out on himself by diving underwater amid a feeding frenzy of Caribbean reef sharks.
SCIENCE OF SHARK SEX
Friday, August 4, 10-11 PM (ET/PT) – World Premiere
This world premiere special travels to the famed Tiputa pass, in the atoll of Rangiroa in French Polynesia , to study one of the world's greatest concentrations of grey reef sharks. Because understanding the sexuality and reproduction of sharks is key to their preservation, a group of three international scientists set out to study the grey reef sharks' mating habits which, until now, have never been captured on film. The film reveals the deadly risks grey reefs must take to give life.
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