The Early Show on CBS ran the video segment below this morning in conjunction with Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. The segment is loaded with all the typical shark cliches that often accompany mainstream media reports, including Jaws theme music, the science and technology correspondent referring to himself as bait, and the entire morning crew getting a good laugh in about sharks having “a tough PR problem.” While the lead-in to the video mentions sharks being endangered, the focus of the segment doesn’t seem particularly rooted in conservation efforts, and the light-hearted attitude on the part of the crew back in the studio at the end of the segment really doesn’t convey to me that those involved with the show treated the declining shark population issue with much serious thought.
The segment is not completely without merit, in terms of shark conservation, Andy DeHart, of the National Aquarium, notes that 250,000 sharks are killed daily, and he discusses the impact that losing sharks would have on the marine ecosystem. Stuart Cove also brings up how the experience of diving with sharks can change opinions and attitudes about sharks. Although, with the controversy going on with shark diving in the Bahamas, this Tiger Beach footage in the segment might also drum up more criticism from those opposed to shark diving.
A text-based version titled, Making A Case For Saving The Shark, also appeared online today.