Eastern NC scientist weighs in on Discovery Channel's Shark Week

CARTERET COUNTY, NC (WITN) This week millions of people will tune in to see what the Discovery Channel has created for their annual Shark Week, which officially kicked off on Sunday night.

For the past 31-years, the TV network has been airing the shark focused programming, bringing with it a lot of eyes on one of the ocean's top predators.

But local experts say viewers should keep in mind that Shark Week is entertainment-based and not always focused on science.

They also wanted to remind people that while Great White Sharks are often the most highlighted shark, there are more than 400 species in the ocean.

Joel Fodrie, Associate Professor at UNC's Institute of Marine Sciences says, "I certainly appreciate that Shark Week inspires people to think about the ocean and think about sharks. On a more technical level, it's an entertainment industry and they are trying to balance entertainment maybe thinking about entertainment more than they think about sort of factual ecology or the details of shark ecology."

Fodrie does say that the program has done a good job of focusing on the importance of conservation of these animals.