Scrolling through Amazon Prime’s video service recently I came across this curious title: ‘Enjoy: Shark Cull - Season 1’. Hmm..., ‘enjoy?’ I wondered how the words ‘enjoy’ and ‘cull’ could be used in any TV program title? It got me curious. A quick look on IMDB revealed a high rating of 8.5. If it is over a 7.8 then I’ll generally watch it.
10 minutes into the program, I finally understood. The actual program title flashed up on the screen; ‘Envoy: Shark Cull - Season 1’. Envoy? Not, enjoy? Ahhh, I see! Well, I saw it clearly eventually. Further confirmation of my deteriorating eyesight! I was wearing my new Daiso glasses at the time as well, apparently the 1.5 magnification isn’t enough. Enough about me, back to the sharks.
Anyway, as the program points out early on, sharks actually don’t have much of a say in anything so, a group of scientists, surfers, divers, environmentalists amongst others have decided to speak for the sharks. They are the sharks' envoys. Through their various first-hand accounts, scientific evidence and some stunning underwater photography we learn about the situation of sharks in Australia.
Most of us have probably seen Jaws which has helped frame how we tend to think of sharks. However, I did learn a lot more from watching this program. For example, did you know about drum lining? Shark netting? What about shark culling? The scientific evidence presented in the program paints a bleak picture of what happens when we deliberately try to reduce shark numbers. We also learn about how the media has given sharks a bad name with use of the phrase ‘shark attack’ now shifting to ‘shark bite’ or ‘incident’ as governments shift their language in line with scientific thinking.
I’d recommend this show to anyone who loves good underwater photography, is interested in animals in general or is curious about some issues which are controversial in Australia. One tidbit for you before I get back to my TV viewing. Did you know that if you eat fish and chips in Australia, chances are you are eating shark? Shark meat, known as ‘flake’ is one of the most common varieties of fish that is sold in the popular dish of fish and chips. I prefer mine beer battered but that’s a story for another time. Thanks for reading!
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