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Series 4: 8. Shark Rescue Special



Sharks are a mainstay of Steve’s Deadly 60, slicing through his ratings with their size, speed and power. They are among the most spectacular predators on the planet - but they’re in trouble. Each year, 100 million sharks are killed by people and a quarter of all sharks and rays are now threatened with extinction - but why are they under threat? And what can we all do to help?\n\nIn this special episode of Deadly 60, Steve travels to the Bahamas, shark capital of the world, to find out what it will take to save our sharks. He starts with a shark new to the Deadly 60 – the great hammerhead. These monster sharks are solitary predators given a wide berth by other sharks, and with good reason - they eat a huge range of prey from rays to octopus to smaller sharks, even other hammerheads. The dive gets pretty intense with hammerheads everywhere and Steve needs eyes in the back of his head to keep track of them all.\n\nSharks don’t just stay in one place and can migrate huge distances. It’s therefore important to understand where they go if we are to help them. Steve joins shark scientist Stephen Kaijura as he takes to the skies to survey one of the most spectacular animal gatherings on earth – the migration of thousands of blacktip sharks along the Florida coast. A mass of black shapes surge and swirl in the water, metres away from unsuspecting bathers, who are completely safe. Stephen explains that this migration has been happening for millennia but is now under threat due to climate change.\n\nHowever, by far the greatest threat to sharks comes from humans killing them on a devastating scale. They are caught for their meat and often just for their fins, which are used to make shark fin soup, considered a delicacy across much of Asia. A kilo of shark fins can sell for up to $650, and often the rest of the shark is simply thrown back in the sea once the fin has been removed.\n\nScientists estimate as many as 273 million sharks could be killed every year, but there is hope! Steve finds it back in the Bahamas, kitting up for a very special dive in a place close to his heart: Tiger Beach, home of possibly the world’s greatest shark dive. Explaining how this site has been protected by the Bahamian people, Steve sits on the edge of the boat and gets the sleeve of his wetsuit chomped by a hungry lemon shark. He dons chainmail sleeves to protect his hands and arms and jumps in. He is quickly surrounded by nurse sharks, bull sharks and more great hammerheads, but the star attraction soon appears – the tiger shark. A cleverly camouflaged hunter, with serrated teeth that can slice through shell and bone, the tiger shark is a founding member of the Deadly 60. They crowd around Steve, dwarfing all the other sharks , providing one of the most dramatic wildlife encounters in the world.\n\nBack at the surface, Steve explains that in the Bahamas sharks are worth more alive than dead, and that could be a model for shark conservation worldwide.

Source: CBBC

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