SWTS adventures for entrepreneurs. TM

SWTS Conservation

Sharks worldwide are being killed at an alarming rate. This must be stopped. We don't want the day to come when we will swim without sharks. Sharks must be protected before it is too late. If you know of anyone that is working on shark conservation, please let us know. Here are some terrific people and organizations that are working on protecting sharks:

Sonya Fordham 
Ocean Ramsey 
Marie Levine 
Lesley Rochat 
Georgienne Bradley
Philippe Cousteau 
Shark Advocates International 

The Infamous Great White
    The Great White Shark has achieved an amazing feat; they remain to this day one of the few things that humans still fear and recognize as a threat.  To swim with these amazing creatures is to conquer fate and do something that an incredibly small percentage of people in the world will every do.  Before taking this dive, it is important to get to know and respect the Great White; you are going into their territory and should be as aware as possible of the habits, history and general facts.

Quick Facts
    Thanks to Jaws few people have to wonder what the Great White looks like; known the world over for its pointed snout and massive size, this shark has become a notorious icon.
One of the largest Great Whites on record was between 23 and 24 feet, though this occurrence is rare and most of the species average about 15 or 16 feet in length.
Females are larger in stature and retain dominance over the male Great White.
The name can be somewhat misleading, since the shark is only white on its underside and actually has a dark grey on its dorsal side.  This makes the shark ideally suited for camouflage and is hard to spot from great distances.
Found in all major oceans and virtually around every continent from the United States to Africa to Australia to Asia.  Wherever you are located there are opportunities to witness these creatures of the deep up close and personal.

    There is no mistaking the fact that the Great White is a born predator; however they may not be complete eating machines as previously thought.  Great Whites prefer and need prey that is high in fat content, and therefore high in energy.  It comes as no surprise that sea mammals are the favorite food of Great Whites with meals consisting of dolphins, sea lions, dolphins, seals and even small whales.  However, the shark is not above eating other sharks, fish and birds that cross its’ path.
    Although size and jagged teeth play a large factor in hunting prey, the Great White actually relies largely on its keen senses to locate food.  Every time an animal moves they create a small electrical field that is picked up by the shark and can lead the predator directly to the prey from several miles away.  The Great Whites’ senses are so in tune that within very close range they can even detect a heart beat.  Once prey has been located, the shark will generally attack from the bottom in order to best use its camouflage and element of surprise.
    Many are under the impression that the Great White will attack a human on sight, however scientists believe that human attacks are due to several other factors.  The Great White is considered a very curious animal that will take a bite out of most unknown objects, but will not continue eating once the object does not appeal.  Humans who are bit are generally the object of a ‘test bite’ and are fatal due to loss of blood from the single bite rather thank whole consumption.  These sharks require high-fat animals and humans, according to scientists, have too many bones to make a digestible meal for sharks.

Swimming with the Great White
    Here at SwimWithTheSharks.com great precautions are taken when swimming with the Great White Shark, as they can be unpredictable.  More often than not divers will be in cages that create a safe barrier and enable a close-hand look at the sharks’ eating habits, body structure and look into the eyes of one of the few mysteries left on the earth.

By Natalie McConnel

Tiger Shark: Rivaling the Great White in length and weight, the Tiger Shark is an aggressive shark to be reckoned with and has proved dangerous to humans.  
Can grow to be upwards of 16’ in length and over 1,300 lbs.
Found in warm tropical waters, generally near the Pacific Islands, the Tiger Shark enjoys the shallow reefs and has been known to come into harbors.
Like its namesake, the Tiger Shark has dark brown stripes in adolescence, but becomes a neutral color as an adult.
Solitary and hunts seals, birds, turtles and other sea mammals.

Whale Shark: A true gentle giant, the Whale Shark is the largest fish in the sea and behaves similar to the mammal whale.
Massive in size, with the average Whale Shark reaching over 40’ and weighing between 45,000-50,000 lbs.
Slow moving and non-aggressive
Lives in the warm waters surrounding Mexico, Pacific Islands, majority of African coasts, and migrate to Australia once a year.
Like mammal whales, this shark eats largely plankton and plants, but can also consume small fish.

Bull Shark: Picture a rodeo bull with the string tied around its waist and you have the    unpredictability of the Bull Shark.
Adults have a very stocky build and aggressive nature
Bull Sharks are unique in the fact that they can survive in salt and freshwater (though they have to work twice as hard in fresh water).  This shark has been seen in US, Australian, Indian and South American rivers.
A worldwide shark ranging from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Grey Reef Shark: If you find yourself swimming along the Pacific Islands or South African reefs, you will most likely run into this smaller, but dominant shark.
Extremely fast and agile, this medium-sized shark is known for its large eyes and dominant nature towards other species.
During the day these sharks become heavily social creatures and form large schools along the reefs.
Can be aggressive towards humans.

Zebra Shark: Popular among the coral reefs of Southeast Asia and Australia, but can span all the way to Africa and into Middle Eastern seas.
Nocturnal creatures that spend the majority of their day resting on the bottom of the reefs.
Glean their name from the dark stripes found the young Zebra Sharks (adults have dark spots instead of stripes).
Have five ridges that run along their backs and distinguish them from the smooth backs of other sharks.
Feed on reef-dwelling creatures (mollusks, crabs and sea snakes).

Hammerhead: One of the most distinctive surviving sharks thanks to its telltale head shape.
Although there are several species of Hammerhead Sharks, the Great Hammerhead is the largest and most renowned.
Found the world over in warmer, more temperate waters (Australia, southern Atlantic Ocean, Africa and Asia).
Currently on the ‘Endangered’ list due to high fishing levels in Asia where the hammerhead fins are popular for cooking.
Dwell in the coastal areas
The Great Hammerhead can reach upwards of 20’ in length.
Feed on smaller sharks, crabs/lobsters and stingrays (favorite).

Leopard Shark: Harmless to humans, the Leopard Shark is a favorite for divers thanks to its unique coloring and docile nature.
Small, in shark terms, grown adults only reach 4 ½’ – 5’
Have large black spots that stretch over the shark’s back from side to side.
Live among the reefs and coasts, never going deeper that 12’ or 13’.
Feed on coruscations, fish and eggs
Largely in the Pacific Ocean, the Leopard Shark can range from northern Oregon to southern Mexico.

Great White Shark: This king of the sea hardly needs an introduction with its razor sharp teeth and notorious nature.
Mature Great White’s can measure up to 24’ long (though the average size is slightly smaller)
Found worldwide including the United States, Australia, Africa, South America and Asia.
A born hunter that prefers mammals with large fat content (seals, sea lions, dolphins, etc.)
Rely heavily on their natural camouflage of their bodies and attack from the bottom of their prey.


About Shark Week by Austen Allred

Swim with the sharks during Discovery Channel's Shark Week which is one of the longer running traditions of broadcast television. There are few programs that have survived that transition of traditional antenna television to cable television where hundreds of additional options to choose from began to come forth. The fact that Discovery was able to stay a popular program during the times when it seemed like everyone you knew was creating his or her own cable TV channel is a testament to its quality as a program, and few cable programs have a history that can come close in length or magnitude to that of Shark Week.

Shark Week, in fact, is the longest cable-running event in the world. Now, in fact, shark week is broadcast to over 72 different countries, and is shown in multiple languages. 

The Beginnings

The Discovery Channel opened its doors in 1985, and Shark Week came around only a couple of years after that. 1987 was far from the glory days of cable television, so the idea of having a week’s programming dedicated solely to one topic was a risky vision. The viewership of the program, however, doesn’t lie, and Shark Week is now one of the most popular television events. More than 20 million have tuned in each year since 1995, and Shark Week 2010 set a Discovery Channel record by being the most watched shark week ever. Over 30.8 million unique people tuned in.

Shark Week Hosts

The hosts of shark week has become a big deal, and is debated and discussed just like the hosts of Saturday Night Live or other popular TV shows are. Some big names have graced the list of Shark Week hosts, including the two most popular Mythbusters icons Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman in 2005, Craig Ferguson in 2010, Andy Samberg in 2011, in 2007 and 2009 by “Survivorman” Les Shroud. Shark Week has even been hosted by the author of Jaws, Peter Benchley, before his death in 2006.

Adaption of Modern Technology

One of the less frequently told stories of Shark Week is how innovative the show has been with nearly every year. From its beginnings when it was one of the first week-long programs to be aired on cable TV up until 2011. The 2001 Shark Week was one of the first shows on television to be simultaneously available on iPod, iPad and web users. This adaptation of new mediums is likely one of the contributors to the large amount of viewers of Shark Week despite most other shows’ viewing audience decreasing.

Discovery Channel’s Sharkweek has quickly become a mainstay in American television culture. What started out as an experiment in the early days of cable TV has become one of the most viewed and most discussed events in cable television. Even through turbulent times of the television industry, Sharkweek not only remained strong but grew in viewership to be one of the favorite television events in America today.