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Shark Week, Sharkfest to feature researchers from Texas A&M University-CC

HRI researchers
Mako Shark Eye Monster Mako
Posted at 2:52 PM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 15:57:30-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It's time for the summer traditions -- Discovery's Shark Week and National Geographic's Sharkfest!

Discovery's annual Shark Week and National Geographic's SharkFest are right around the corner, and they are both set to feature Harte Research Institute (HRI) researchers from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

"Sharks are such great ambassadors for the ocean," said Dr. Greg Stunz, Director for the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation and TAMU-CC Professor of Marine Biology and Endowed Chair for Fisheries and Ocean Health.

"They are a key that opens the door for scientific curiosity and learning. Most people are fascinated with sharks, and with the help of these charismatic animals, we have a great opportunity to teach children and adults about why healthy oceans are essential to the well-being of people and the planet," said Dr. Stunz.

Stunz and CSSC Assistant Research Scientist Dr. Kesley Banks have appeared in several shark-related television programs and have been recognized for their work, tagging and tracking sharks in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Without sharks, our oceans are out of balance," Banks said.

"By understanding the importance of their ecological roles and conserving these apex predators, we are helping to ensure healthy oceans for future generations," said Banks.

Banks says people's attitudes about sharks have shifted towards conservation rather than harvesting, but he says there is still much work to be done.

"The work that Dr. Stunz and his group conduct on sharks and many other species is a model for conservation science," said Dr. David Yoskowitz, HRI Senior Executive Director and Endowed Chair for Socio-Economics.

Shark Week 2022 starts July 24 on Discovery and Discovery+, and SharkFest began on July 10 on National Geographic Channel.

Researchers from HRI have tagged numerous sharks in the Gulf of Mexico and keep track of their movement and behavior online. Learn more about the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation, including more information about tagged sharks here.

HRI researchers will be featured in the following TV shows in July:

  • SharkFest – "Stealth Hunters" part of "Shark Attack Files," an eight-episode series. Watch Monday, July 18 at 8 p.m. CST on National Geographic. 
    "Stealth Hunters" features scientists who use cutting-edge technology to investigate theories about shark attacks.
  • Shark Week – "Monster Mako Under the Rig" Watch Thursday, July 28 at 9 p.m. CST on Discovery and discovery+
    This episode features a team of local researchers that have discovered a mysterious group of mako sharks in the Gulf of Mexico, residing in the waters off Port Aransas, Texas, migrating around Florida and up to Rhode Island. They call these makos Mavericks. Scientists at HRI are trying to discover what sets them apart from other makos. This show highlights some of the fascinating research taking place right here in the Texas Coastal Bend and at TAMU-CC.
  • Shark Week – "Sharks! with Tracy Morgan" Watch Thursday, July 28 at 7 p.m. CST on Discovery and discovery+
    Join HRI and other leading scientists as they team up with comic actor Tracy Morgan. This entertaining show will feature shark experts from throughout the country as they identify the most awe-inspiring and most ferocious sharks in the ocean. From rare species to stealth predators, Tracy shows off his favorite sharks and their incredible capabilities and adaptations.