SharkFest 2021 kicks off right now. It’s an epic occasion—combining 21 hours of unique programming and 60 hours of enhanced content material throughout 4 networks over the course of the following six weeks. Sharks are concurrently fascinating and terrifying—each of which spark intense curiosity and drive the recognition of an occasion like SharkFest. For me, personally, I’m additionally very curious concerning the science and expertise getting used to analysis shark conduct and develop protocols or gadgets that may assist maintain folks secure once they’re invading the house of the sharks and venturing out within the ocean.
The worry of sharks and concentrate on shark assaults and lethal encounters with sharks is definitely just a little irrational. Sure, sharks are predators and plenty of species of shark are totally able to killing a full grown human being. That mentioned, sharks don’t eat folks and they don’t seem to be really fascinated by even interacting with folks, by no means thoughts consuming them. Marine scientists usually consider shark encounters are both mistaken identification, or purely being within the unsuitable place on the unsuitable time.
When you issue the quantity of people that go into the ocean world wide every year, the overall variety of shark encounters and shark deaths is infinitesimally small. The fact is that the chance of dying from fireworks is 11 occasions larger than getting killed by a shark. Dying in a prepare crash is 24 occasions extra seemingly, and getting killed by lightning is 47 occasions extra seemingly than getting killed by a shark.
Opening evening of SharkFest 2021 has a full lineup. “When Sharks Assault” premiers on Nationwide Geographic at 8pm Japanese time, adopted by the marquee occasion of the SharkFest kickoff—“Shark Seashore with Chris Hemsworth,” which airs at 9pm Japanese after which winding down with “Rogue Shark?” at 10pm Japanese.
When Sharks Assault
This episode takes a have a look at what occurs when sharks descend on a local people—turning the seashores lethal and perplexing scientists. It reveals a few of what researchers are doing to try to perceive seemingly random spikes in shark exercise, and the way violent or lethal interactions with sharks might be prevented.
The islands of Whitsunday off of Australia had been terrorized by a rash of shark assaults in 2018. “Rogue Shark?” explores the collection of shark assaults and makes an attempt to find out what was in charge. One principle is that there was some issue that precipitated extra sharks to be within the space, and probably exacerbated the potential for human / shark battle. Maybe a scarcity within the regular meals provide? One other principle, although, is that all the assaults had been the work of a single shark—a rogue shark that was extra prepared to work together with people and extra violent.
Shark Seashore with Chris Hemsworth
Actor Chris Hemsworth goes on a mission to uncover the science of shark conduct and uncover how people and sharks can safely coexist. After a rise in native shark assaults alongside the east coast of Australia, Hemsworth seeks to know totally different species of sharks and their behaviors whereas additionally exploring new preventative measures and the most recent expertise to assist stave off shark-human encounters. Former world surf champion Mick Fanning joins Hemsworth to share the story of his personal encounter with a terrific white—which occurred dwell on tv throughout a surf competitors.
Stopping Shark Assaults
One other a part of the “Shark Seashore with Chris Hemsworth” episode options Dr. Charlie Huveneers, affiliate professor at Flinders College, and the work he and his workforce are doing to develop deterrent gadgets to stop violent shark interactions. One of many senses sharks use to detect prey is a capability to detect the electrical area of potential targets. Dr. Huveneers is concentrated on using a tool that generates an electrical area to overwhelm the sharks senses and deter assaults.
What they’ve discovered to date is that use of such a tool reduces the chances of a shark encounter by 60%. That also leaves a 40% likelihood—however keep in mind that is 40% of an exceptionally small risk within the first place. When there are so few shark encounters or shark assaults to start with, reducing the possibilities of a violent encounter by greater than half is fairly important.
Eight folks had been killed by sharks in Australia in 2020. Hemsworth notes, “If the eight individuals who had been killed by sharks in 2020 had been ready to make use of a deterrent like this, then 5 would possibly nonetheless be alive.”
I had a possibility to talk with Dr. Huveneers about his analysis and the efficacy of the electrical deterrent expertise. He pressured that there are not any silver bullet options. “A few of these deterrents can actually scale back the dangers, however they don’t seem to be foolproof and no person to date has developed a deterrent that may fully cease the chance of a shark chunk.”
We mentioned the potential for cranking up the ability within the electrical deterrent machine—basically creating a bigger electrical area and maybe enhancing efficacy that manner. Dr. Huveneers mentioned analysis continues, however there needs to be a steadiness. The electrical area really dissipates comparatively shortly in seawater, and you’ve got to pay attention to the truth that the human carrying the machine may really feel the heart beat to some extent. Growing the output would additionally enhance the discomfort for the human, or probably even pose a threat itself.
One other problem is the truth that there are numerous species of shark—usually inside the identical space of the ocean—and they don’t all reply the identical strategy to the deterrent. Totally different sharks have totally different sensitivity to electrical fields, so a tool that works at deterring a terrific white shark is probably not efficient towards a tiger shark.
We mentioned the truth that the deterrent machine is useful, however it may purchase some essential time. It isn’t foolproof, however the existence of the electrical area makes the sharks cautious and fewer prone to chunk. Hopefully, that may be sufficient of a delay for somebody to acknowledge that sharks are within the space and depart or get out of the water earlier than a violent encounter can happen.
Tune In for SharkFest 2021
The SharkFest 2021 content material will air throughout Nationwide Geographic, Web Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo, and Disney XD. Disney+ can be making the most effective programming from previous SharkFest seasons obtainable and can stream new content material from the opposite channels each Friday, starting July 9.