blog - Sharkfest on National Geographic Wild on StarSat


National Geographic announces the largest Sharkfest event yet, launching on 3 July with the premiere of Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth.

Fan-favourite event Sharfest will span four weeks with 21 Hours of original programming and 60 hours of enhanced content.

Johannesburg, 28 June 2021: National Geographic is making a splash this July with the ninth annual Sharkfest. The must-sea summer event swims onto screens with Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth on Saturday 3 July at 6 PM, continuing throughout the month with premiere shark programming every Saturday and Sunday from 6 PM on National Geographic Wild (channel 221).

Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth follows the global movie star as he embarks on a personal mission to investigate how we can live more harmoniously with sharks. The one-hour documentary special from Nutopia (One Strange Rock) features shark icon and conservationist Valerie Taylor. She takes Hemsworth for a shark dive to experience firsthand the awe and beauty of nurse sharks and other preeminent shark experts who are exploring new preventative measures and the latest technology to help stave off shark-human encounters.

With a super-sized four weeks of fin-tastic programming, featuring over 21 hours of new premieres, 60 hours of enhanced content and a treasure trove of archival footage, Sharkfest continues to highlight the fascinating science and stunning cinematic visuals of the apex predators.

National Geographic’s jaw-dropping originals take viewers up close and personal with one of nature’s most feared and often misunderstood creatures. Other marquee special events include Shark Attack Investigation: The Paige Winter Story, where experts unpack the details of Winter’s attack and the inspirational story of how the teen remains an advocate for sharks, and the action-packed six-part series Shark Attack Files, which investigates bizarre and fascinating shark behaviour. Featuring footage from actual attacks, interactions and behaviour captured by both professionals and observant bystanders, every twist and turn leaves viewers sitting on the edge of their seats.

Additional highlights on National Geographic Wild include six new episodes of fin-favourite When Sharks Attack, which investigates why there are spikes in shark attacks. Find out what happens when two of the deadliest predators face off in Croc That Ate Jaws; Shark Gangs reveals what is behind the shark behaviour of hanging out in groups; and Rogue Shark?, explores a series of shark attacks in Australia.

For the past eight years, Sharkfest has continued to shine a light on the science of sharks, giving audiences a better understanding of the ocean’s top predator while also featuring their true beauty, power and mystery. Through a scientific approach, the annual event gives the facts behind the fascinating predators and works with top scientists and advocates to inform and enlighten viewers.

This year’s great-white sized roster sharing their expertise and experiences include:

Paige Winter shark attack survivor, Shark Attack Investigation: The Paige Winter Story
Dr Mike Heithaus marine ecologist, Shark Attack Investigation: The Paige Winter Story and Croc That Ate Jaws
Laura Garcia Barcia environmental biologist, Shark Attack Investigation: The Paige Winter Story
Melissa Cristina Márquez marine biologist, Shark Attack Files
Carlee Jackson shark and sea turtle conservationist, Shark Attack Files
Alison Towner marine biologist, Shark Attack Files
Sophumelela Qoma project manager, Oceans Research FoundationShark Attack Files
Dr Stephen Kajiura Florida Atlantic University professor of biological sciences, When Sharks Attack 

“The mysteries of the ocean’s most iconic predators are so vast, even with eight years of shark-focused content under our belt, there still remains more to be discovered. Like every year, shark scientists and oceanic experts have pulled out all the stops for this year’s Sharkfest, revealing new discoveries, shocking revelations and bizarre shark behavior never seen before. It’s going to be jaw-some!”

~ Janet Vissering
Senior Vice President of Development and Production, National Geographic Partners

“National Geographic Wild’s Sharkfest has become a celebrated annual event for our viewers across the continent, adding to our rich premium wildlife programming that brings the world’s fascinating animals to screens. Few creatures holds a fascination as much as sharks and we are excited to reveal and explore more with exciting, intriguing and exhilarating specials.”

~ Evert van der Veer
Vice President, Media Networks, The Walt Disney Company Africa

The entire original programming lineup for Sharkfest 2021 is below:

Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth
Saturday 3 July at 6 PM
In this one-off special, global movie star Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers) embarks on a personal mission to investigate how we can live more harmoniously with sharks. Chris, an enthusiastic surfer and renowned environmentalist, is fascinated by the ocean’s top predator. But he’s equally perplexed by the dangers they pose to humans when we venture into shark territory. In Shark Beach (WT), Chris uncovers the complicated truth behind the alarming increase in shark attacks in Australia. Joined by surfers, conservationists, shark advocates and marine biologists, Chris begins his journey in his own backyard at Byron Bay, Australia. He explores new preventative measures and technologies which can help stave off shark-human encounters. Chris dives with sharks and accompanies a tagging team as they handle a captured great white, helping release it back into the ocean. Chris’ mission to understand sharks is more than a journey: he’s searching for answers to help us live more peacefully with these magnificent creatures.

When Sharks Attack 7- Terror in Texas
Saturday 3 July at 6:45 PM
Every year, Galveston Island in south Texas greets upwards of 5 million visitors to its beaches. In 2004, the fishing, surfing and beach play got shattered when three locals were attacked by sharks just weeks apart. Shark attacks are rare off Texas beaches, so locals want answers. Experts examine what might have happened. Are the changes permanent? And will Galveston beaches ever be safe again?

When Sharks Attack 7- Mayhem in Miami
Saturday 3 July at 7:30 PM
The 100 miles of crystal clear waters just north of Miami, Florida, are some of the favourite coastlines in the country. But in 2017, locals and tourists fell victim to a mysterious rise in shark attacks. In that year, nine beach visitors got bitten. A team of investigators uncover clues in their search for the truth.

When Sharks Attack 7- Predators in Paradise
Saturday 3 July at 8:15 PM
In 2016, sharks descended upon the island of Maui, turning paradise into chaos. Seven attacks in 11 months – more than twice the previous ten-year average. Shark attacks are usually rare here. Experts investigate awe-inspiring, underwater volcanoes and ancient craters, from the bizarre, mutant sharks from Fukushima, to a dark secret about Maui’s sewage system. What they uncover could be cause for global concern.

When Sharks Attack compilations – Gulf Coast Reckoning
Sunday 4 July at 6 PM
Sharks attacks are causing panic along the Gulf. Harrowing incidents in Florida and Texas leave experts scrambling for answers. Could the attacks in Florida and Texas be related? What investigators discover could impact vacationers everywhere.

When Sharks Attack compilations – Trouble in Paradise
Sunday 4 July at 6:45 PM
The Bahamas is a dream vacation destination. But for some, the dream quickly becomes a nightmare. A string of shark attacks terrifies beach visitors and concerns experts. Investigators must find the cause to save lives and help the tourist-dependent community.

When Sharks Attack compilations – Trouble in Paradise
Sunday 4 July at 7:30 PM
The tiger shark is the second deadliest species to humans, behind only the great white. In Hawaii, a string of tiger shark attacks has the community on high alert. Experts must find the reason why tiger sharks are biting humans to prevent another devastating encounter.

Rogue Shark?
Saturday 10 July at 6 PM
In October 2018, the remote islands of the Whitsunday in Australia got rocked by a series of shark attacks. Incredibly, all the victims were attacked in the same small patch of ocean, no larger than four football fields. Was a rogue serial killer on the loose? Or was something new drawing sharks and humans into conflict?

When Sharks Attack 7- Chaos in California
Saturday 10 July at 6:45 PM
San Diego, California, is one of the most visited coastal destinations in the country. But in 2009, this community was rocked by a spate of shark attacks. After a deadly incident the year prior, there were six bites in just over six months. A group of experts investigate the accounts to determine the cause of the spike.

When Sharks Attack 7- North Florida Frenzy
Saturday 10 July at 7:30 PM
Jacksonville, Florida’s impressive beaches are the best-kept secret in the South. But this peaceful paradise was rocked in 2015 and 2016 when twelve shark attacks defied the odds and left locals searching for answers. From surfers to swimmers, experts re-visit the circumstances of these attacks and search for answers.

When Sharks Attack 7- Devastation Down Under
Saturday 10 July at 8:15 PM
In 2009, fear gripped Australia when sharks brought terror to the coastal community of New South Wales. Seventeen attacks in a year – more than four times the annual average. Interactions with sharks here are usually rare, leaving experts searching for answers. What they discover could impact beach visitors around the globe.

The Sand Eating Shark
Sunday 11 July at 6 PM. Repeat at 8:15 PM.
In Fernando do Noronha, offshore Brazil, lemon sharks have mastered the art of catching sardines in the surf zone; with the help of unexpected allies!

When Sharks Attack compilations – Carolina Dread
Sunday 11 July at 6:45 PM
Sharks are invading Carolina waters, leaving experts searching for answers. Strings of shark attacks in North and South Carolina threaten beachgoers and the tourist-driven way of life for coastal communities. The reasons behind the attacks are still unknown, but the problem may be direr than anyone could have guessed.

When Sharks Attack compilations – Most Shocking Spikes
Sunday 11 July at 6:45 PM
The most shocking strings of shark attacks ever recorded may help experts prevent future incidents. The Jersey Shore 1916 attacks inspired the most infamous shark story in history, Jaws, but the real-life tale is even more terrifying. A string of attacks in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, leaves experts dumbfounded, but all is not what it seems. And history may be repeating itself with a double-shark attack in New York.

Shark Attack-Tics
Saturday 17 July at 6 PM
We’re all familiar with Jaws. But the Great White is not the only shark to rule the oceans. We’ll watch Wobbegong sharks go “tail-fishing”, and Epaulet sharks walk on land. From the tiger shark that chews through metal to the reef tips that prowl in packs, sharks come in 500 different shapes and sizes, and many are top-notch hunters in their own right.

Shark Attack Files Part 1, Great Whites Vs Cage
Saturday 17 July at 6:45 PM
Cage diving is a popular way to see sharks – until they ram, bite or get behind the bars. A few key factors may explain this troubling behaviour.

Shark Attack Files Part 2, Land Shark
Saturday 17 July at 7:30 PM
Most shark attacks happen near shore, and more sharks get spotted on beaches across the world. Could sharks one day step onto land?

Shark Attack Files Part 3, Deadliest Bite
Saturday 17 July at 8:15 PM
Shark experts examine the jaws of the world’s three deadliest sharks to determine what makes a shark’s bite so dangerous.

Shark Gangs
Sunday 18 July at 6 PM. Repeat at 8:15 PM
For years sharks have been viewed as solitary predators, but scientists have recently discovered a surprising new behaviour. In this special, we reveal how this apex predator likes to hang out in gangs. So what is behind this behaviour? Do sharks enjoy a social life, or are they working together to become even more effective hunters?

50 Shades of Sharks
Sunday 18 July at 6:45 PM
50 Shades of Sharks reveals facets of rarely chronicled sharks; they’re fragile, delicate, ingenious, collaborative and even clumsy at times.

World’s Most Dangerous Shark?
Saturday 24 July at 6 PM. Repeat at 8:15 PM
By some estimates, the Oceanic Whitetip has attacked and eaten nearly 2 000 humans—more than the Great White, Tiger and Bull sharks combined. But could the “most dangerous of all sharks” be even more dangerous?

Shark Attack Files Part 4, Man vs Shark
Saturday 24 July at 6:45 PM
Never-before-seen footage explores the most astounding shark attacks from the last several years – and how each victim fought back.

Shark Attack Files Part 5, Man vs Shark
Saturday 24 July at 7:30 PM
Over the past two decades, there have been multiple instances of sharks attacking humans in pairs– is there something fishy going on?

World’s Biggest Bullshark?
Sunday 25 July at 6 PM. Repeat at 8:15 PM
Marine Ecologist Dr Neil Hammerschlag joins former Royal Marine Commando James Glancy and Evolutionary Biologist Dr Toby Daly-Engel. Together, they uncover how Big Bull, one of the largest Bull Sharks ever caught, grew to become a giant and find out if there could be more like her.

The Sharks of Hawaii
Sunday 25 July at 6:45 PM
It is a living Eden for all creatures, including one of the most misunderstood in the entire world – the shark. Some 40 species call these waters home, and so does world-renowned wildlife cinematographer Paul Atkins. This film will take us from the remote reefs of the Hawaiian archipelago to the world-famous beaches of Waikiki. The sharks here display odd behaviour, some seen nowhere else on earth.

Shark Attack: The Paige Winter Story
Saturday 31 July at 6 PM
Paige Winter was only 17 years old when she lost a leg and portion of her hand to a shark. Experts unpack the details of Paige’s attack to determine what kind of shark is responsible and how to avoid this happening again. Despite all that Paige has lived through, this inspirational teen remains an advocate for sharks, and with the guidance of professionals, takes brave steps to overcome her greatest fears.

The Croc That Ate Jaws
Saturday 31 July at 6:45 PM
What happens when two of the world’s most deadly and ancient predators go head to head? Drawing on spectacular UGC from around the world and the latest scientific research, shark and croc experts Dr Mike Heithaus and Dr James Nifong unpack and analyse the evidence. With growing signs, crocs and alligators are pushing far out to sea and deep into shark territory, are clashes on the rise?

* Dates and schedules are subject to change.

Saturdays and Sundays from 6 PM on National Geographic Wild (ch 221) from Saturday, 3 July

Author: Jenny Griesel (Jenny Griesel Communications)

Editor: Jan Hendrik Harmse