Shark Men, season 2

Series: Shark Men, Season 2

Shark Men, season 2
Shark Men, season 2

 

Season 2 of Shark Men is more of the same as Season 1 – shouting, HOO-HAAing, chest slapping, and manly bleating. It’s not all complete, unmitigated suffering for the patient viewer, however. There is less focus on the manly art of extreme angling than there is in Season 1, which was a welcome relief.

The first two episodes are filmed at the Farallon Islands, a location off California that swarms with white sharks, and with which Tony and I are familiar from reading The Devil’s Teeth (recommended, with reservations). The team has a permit to capture and tag white sharks there, the first time anyone has been allowed to do this kind of work at the Farallons. Not everything goes according to plan, and the team’s research permit is suspended.

Attempting to tease out the entire life cycle of the southern Pacific white shark population, the Ocearch vessel drops anchor off Malibu in southern California. There they fish for juvenile white sharks, in view of the busy beaches. Surfers and swimmers are largely unaware that they are sharing the water with a white shark nursery. The researchers also return to Guadalupe Island off Mexico, and capture and tag more sharks there.

The final few episodes of this season are the most fascinating – a trip is made to the Sea of Cortez, a squid-rich ecosystem teeming with terrifying Humboldt squid, pods of sperm whales, and other cetaceans. There is a long history of white sharks of various sizes being caught in the area, which makes the researchers suspect that it is a pupping area. It is, however, a popular long lining location, which puts the white sharks in danger of being caught by fishermen.

This season of the show was dogged by controversy. The Farallon Islands permit revocation was of serious concern, and repercussions were felt long after filming completed. A shark known as Junior (or Lucky) was badly hooked and spent a long time out of the water on the Farallon Islands trip while the team attempted to remove the hook from deep in his throat. The shark was later filmed with a terrible injury to the side of his face. The Ocearch team were subsequently exonerated from any blame for the wounds, as Junior’s injuries were from another shark (and sharks bite each other frequently and indiscriminately).

There’s an interview with Chris Fischer and Brett McBride about this season of the show, here. Episode guide here. Get the series here, otherwise try here or here. You may have trouble getting them shipped to South Africa.

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Clare

Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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