It’s Shark Week everyone, and the Harte Research Institute (HRI), The Gulf Stream Podcast and the Texas State Aquarium are teaming up to spread awareness of shark conservation’s importance to the health of our oceans.
Dr. Kesley Banks, an associate research scientist at HRI’s Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation (CSSC) will appear during the Discovery Channel’s “Monster Mako” series, airing on Thursday, Jul. 27 at 8 p.m. This isn’t the first time Dr. Banks has appeared on television. She is often called upon as an expert for shark-related programming due to her work tracking sharks off Texas beaches and around artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Sharks are a vital part of our oceans,” Banks said. “Without them, our oceans are out of balance. By working to understand the importance of their ecological roles and conserving these apex predators, we’re helping to ensure healthy oceans for both current and future generations.”
Though sharks often get a bad reputation for their innate predatory nature, Banks praises the shifting positive perception. Hopefully, this continues, resulting in increased shark conservation rather than shark harvesting.
“Sharks are great ambassadors for the ocean,” said Dr. Greg Stunz, HRI’s senior executive director and director of the CSSC. “They are a key that opens the door for scientific curiosity and discovery. 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.”
Outside of watching Dr. Banks on the Discovery Channel, the public can gain more shark knowledge by listening to her featured episode on the Gulf Stream Podcast where she talks all about the inspiration behind her shark research. This episode was recorded in partnership with the Texas State Aquarium and on Tuesday, Jul. 25 at 11:30 a.m., they will be doing a special dive show with the sharks.