UPDATE: When does shark week start? Discovery has announced that shark week date is now scheduled to begin on Sunday, 9 August, and will run through August 16.
In the USA and now in many other parts of the world, it is a big deal. Even if you aren’t a big fan of the show, you have probably heard about it at some point in your life, either on Social Media platforms or from that friend who owns a onesie that is just like this wonderful sea creature and disappears for a week during the summer.
But the question may still remain, what exactly is Shark Week? And why do people celebrate it? Don’t worry. In the following post, we will explain everything you need to know about what does shark week mean and what is Shark week about.
What Is Shark Week Exactly?
What and when is shark week? Basically, it is an annual, week-long programming block on the Discovery Channel which usually takes place in July or August.
It is now broadcast in over 72 countries around the world. It gets heavily promoted by fans all over Social Media networks and by fans of the Discovery Channel.
How Did Shark Week Start?
Shark Week history. When did Shark Week start? Originally aired back in 1988 on July 17th. It is the longest-running television event in history and has continued to grow in popularity every year since.
The show was originally meant to raise awareness and respect for these giant fish through the use of documentaries, factual information, and interesting film footage. Unfortunately, it now has a more entertainment-oriented focus on fictional documentaries.
The Discovery Channel has actually come under fire in the last couple of years for producing “docufiction” and forgetting the original purpose of the week.
Docufiction is fictional documentaries that are packaged with facts that misguide the audience into thinking they are dangerous predators who are out to kill humanity. Which any real lover of them would know, not to be true.
In fact, the annual global average is six fatalities per year from attacks. In 2018 there were a total of 66 confirmed, unprovoked attacks and five fatal attacks, four of which were confirmed to be unprovoked.
One of the fictitious programs in question included programs like Megladon: The Monster Shark Lives, which actually led to a large number of people to believe that this species is still alive and angered many scientists and viewers alike. This was mainly because a docufiction program packaged as fact and was aired on a channel known for its educating of the public.
It was due to the show that it is now a further popularized the event. It holds the rank as being the most-watched episode to date with over 4.8 million viewers.
Help Raise Awareness For Sharks Every Week
Just like puppies aren’t only for Christmas, this species shouldn’t be forgotten every other week of the year either. The event can be fun, but let’s remember the reason that it started in the first place – to help raise awareness and teach respect for these apex predators.
Help share awareness about the threats that the species face, not just during the event, but as often as you can. So why not brush up on your facts about sharks, or even educate some of your friends and family members about them.
If you are excited, and already have plans to attend or even throw a Shark Party, help raise awareness by adding these party ideas to your itinerary!
- Adopt a Shark
- Sign a Petition – Save Sharks
- Raise Money for a Charity
- Say No to Shark Fin Soup
- Shark Cake Bake Sale
- Support shark conservation
- Share your Love of them on Social Media
- Exchange Shark Gifts
- Use Less Plastic
- Shop Using Amazon Smile
How to Celebrate?
Even with the controversy of the event, many people still go ahead and celebrate it, after all, it’s become a long-awaited annual event. Personally, I think it’s a great thing to celebrate. But while you do, take some time to learn about sharks, and educate yourself and others about the threats that they face every day of the year.
Many continue to face threats of extinction, due to overfishing, finning, and human pollution. It’s important that we raise awareness for these creatures and help protect them.
So its shark week how are you going to join in? Many people host shark and viewing parties in celebration of these amazing creatures. Groups of people come together to binge-watch the Discovery Channel, associated Movies, and even play Shark Week Drinking Games!
We are all looking forward to this year’s event. Maybe the Discovery Channel will revert back to their original educational shows to help raise awareness about the impending extinction of these amazing creatures.