This pissed me off, even though the site is beautiful. So I wrote a letter to the editor:
Great, just what sharks needed: more hype and terror to perpetuate complacent attitudes about their purge. According to the Shark Research Institute and the Pew Environment Group, some 70-100 million sharks are slaughtered annually, for food, “sport,” and a simple desire to eradicate the “bad guys.” Of those, according to Conservation International, an estimated 26 million to 73 million sharks are killed each year just for their fins, with the rest of the carcass left to rot.
By contrast, thus far this year (through July 7, 2009), there have been only 53 reported shark attacks on humans worldwide, many involving either provocation (fisherman getting bitten after spearing a shark, for example) or no injuries (shark bites surfboard). Only four of those attacks resulted in death.
Maybe Discovery Channel should consider adding “Human Week” to their schedule.
Or considering that some 247,000 vehicle-vs.deer accidents were reported in 2000 (according to JAMA) - how about “Deer Week?”
Call me a buzz kill, but as creative people, we have a responsibility to avoid perpetuating destructive human behavior in the name of fun and advertising (or filthy lucre, depending on how you look at it). I’d like to think there’s a way to promote Shark Week that can attract viewers without inflaming negative attitudes about these incredibly ecologically important creatures.