Oceana and Discovery Channel are once again joining forces to help save sharks. The groups are planning Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and online efforts to raise awareness about plummeting shark populations around the 24th annual Shark Week, premiering on Discovery July 31st.
Discovery Channel will air a PSA nightly during Shark Week that encourages viewers to log on to www.discovery.com/savethesharks. There, they can find information about Oceana’s “Save the Sharks” campaign and write to the government, asking the U.S. to protect vulnerable shark species, like the hammerhead, whose populations have crashed in recent decades. The two organizations are also teaming-up on blogs and social media outlets with the hope that these activities will encourage fans to take action to protect sharks from the world’s most terrifying predator: humans.
“This year, Discovery’s Shark Week is especially important as we are finding more and more opportunities to win protections for sharks all over the world,” said Andrew F. Sharpless, CEO of Oceana. “Oceana has already won two big victories for sharks this year: in January, the U.S. Shark Conservation Act became law, and just this month, Chile joined a growing list of countries to ban shark finning. With Discovery’s help, we can put in place more protections for sharks around the world.”
"Shark Week, now in its 24th year, has become a perennial favorite among viewers who are fascinated by this powerful and often misunderstood creature," said Clark Bunting, President and General Manager of Discovery Channel. "With shark populations in serious decline, Discovery Channel is proud to once again partner this year with Oceana on a PSA campaign as well as joining them in encouraging people to take action and help protect the most vulnerable shark species on the brink of extinction."
Discovery Channel’s Shark Week kicks off on Sunday, July 31st at 9PM and will feature Discovery’s new Chief Shark Officer (CSO) comedian Andy Samberg. As CSO, Samberg puts his own unique spin on Shark City. For the one-hour special, Samberg travels to the Bahamas and takes the plunge – literally jumping into the shark-filled waters – to introduce viewers to a specific group of sharks that live off the shores of Nassau.
Also slated for 2011 is the Mike Rowe-narrated Jaws Comes Home, which utilizes state-of-the-art tagging technology and follows five great white sharks as they make their recently discovered 1,200-mile journey up and down the eastern seaboard, appearing off Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard for the first time in nearly 30 years.
Oceana and Discovery Channel believe that educating while entertaining entices viewers to become more active in the protection of sharks. The groups began partnering for Shark Week in 2010, which was watched by 30.8 million people, making it the most-watched year on record.
For more information about the partnership and the troubles facing sharks, please visit www.oceana.org/sharkweek or www.discovery.com/savethesharks.