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S39 Ep12

Sharks of Hawaii

Premiere: 4/21/2021 | 00:00:30 |

Learn surprising facts about the sharks that call the warm waters near Hawaii’s islands their home. Meet the Whitetip reef shark, Whale shark, Tiger shark and more.

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About the Episode

Under the waves and tropical sun, each of Hawaii’s volcanic islands host a unique ocean landscape teeming with biodiversity. But one predator reigns supreme – the shark. With 40 species of shark calling these warm waters home, scientists are seeing new animal behavior around every corner. Whitetip reef sharks “sleep” in tight volcanic tunnels. In the deep water, everything is on the menu for the hunting Tiger shark, from birds to Humpback whales. Hopping from island to island, uncover surprising moments of cooperation, rarely seen hunting tactics and striking insights into these predators of the world’s paradise.

Buzzworthy Moments:

  • A school of small mackerel called “Akule” gather in the tens of thousands to form a tight bait ball in order to protect themselves from predators, most notoriously the sharks of Hawaii. But sometimes increasing their profile only attracts more lethal attention.
  • Off the island of Oahu lies an undersea prairie that is home to hundreds of Hawaiian garden eels. Shy creatures found only in Hawaiian waters, these eels only emerge from their burrow to eat zooplankton. They will spend their lifetime in the same spot, trying to avoid the eyes of roaming sharks.
  • A Tiger shark’s favorite treat is a Humpback whale calf. Humpback calves nurse for at least a year, while the mother whales try their best to keep their newborns close. But Tiger sharks are clever and stealthy, and one, in particular, takes advantage when the calf must go to the surface to breathe. The calf barely escapes a gruesome fate.

Noteworthy Facts:

  • While some species of sharks do need to swim constantly, Whitetip reef sharks are one of the few shark species that don’t need to swim in order to breathe. They can lie on the ocean floor to rest.
  • Whale sharks are the world’s largest fish and can grow as big as 40 feet long.
  • Manta rays are cousins to sharks, with wing spans that can reach 29 feet. Manta rays are born rolled up, and then unfurl to six feet.
  • Sandbar sharks live in Hawaii year-round. Male Sandbar sharks hunt together, but the females travel alone.
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NARRATED BY
SCOTT BRICK

WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY
KEVIN BACHAR

CO-PRODUCERS
PAUL ATKINS
ALEX WERJEFELT

PHOTOGRAPHY
PAUL ATKINS, ASC
CULLEN KAMISUGI
ALEX WERJEFELT

ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY
KEVIN BACHAR
MARK DEVENOT
JEFF LEICHER
OSSIAN NICHOLS
KELSEY OGATA

EDITORS
DANIEL KWIATKOWSKI
JOHN SANVIDGE

CREATIVE CONSULTANT
SUE HOUGHTON

AUDIO POST-PRODUCTION
SEAN CANADA

MUSIC COMPOSED BY
MAC SQUIER

COLORIST
ERIC RAMISTELLA

SCIENTIFIC CONSULTANTS
FRANK BAENSCH
DR. ADAM PACK
PACIFIC WHALE FOUNDATION
CHIEF BIOLOGIST STEPHANIE STACK
CHIEF SCIENTIST JENS CURRIE

WILDLIFE PERMITS PROVIDED BY
NMFS PERMIT NO. 19655
NMFS PERMIT NO. 21321
PMNM-2020-005

PAPAHĀNAUMOKUĀKEA MARINE NATIONAL MONUMENT
RESOURCE MONITORS
DANIEL J. LINK
ANDREW SULLIVAN-HASKINS

ARCHIVE
DUNCAN BRAKE
KIMBERLY JEFFRIES
NATURE FOOTAGE
BROCQ MAXEY
JOE ROMEIRO
POND5
JEFF LEICHER
MALA’E PRODUCTIONS

GRIP
MARK KALAUGHER

LOCATION ASSISTANCE
GRACIE ATKINS

WATER SAFETY
FRANK BAENSCH
BEN COLLINS
ANDY HIPP

SPECIAL THANKS
PETRISHA ALVAREZ
PATTI CLAY
WARREN FINTZ
FRANK MANCINI
MICHAEL MCLAUGHLIN
SABEHA SIDDIQUI
HILARY STREET
TOMMY STYLSKI
WERJEFELT FAMILY
REEF PIRATES DIVING
NEVERDRY DIVERS
OCEAN ADVENTURES HAWAII

POST-PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
STEVE HOLLOWAY

PRODUCTION COORDINATORS
SHAYAN FAROOQ
AIDAN KENNY
ANELA LIMPAHAN

ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS
GABRIELA FIGUEREDO
DANIEL KWIATKOSWKI

FOR TERRA MATER FACTUAL STUDIOS

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
IVO FILATSCH
SABINE HOLZER

FOR NATURE

SERIES EDITOR
JANET HESS

SENIOR PRODUCER
LAURA METZGER LYNCH

COORDINATING PRODUCER
JAYNE YOON JUNG JUN

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
JAMES F. BURKE

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BLANCHE ROBERTSON

DIGITAL LEAD
DANIELLE STEINBERG

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER – DIGITAL
AMANDA SCHMIDT

SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR
KAREN HO

AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT
CHELSEY SAATKAMP

BUDGET CONTROLLER
JAYNE LISI

ONLINE EDITOR
STACEY DOUGLASS MOVERLEY

RE-RECORDING MIXER
JON BERMAN

ORIGINAL EPISODE PRODUCTION FUNDING PROVIDED IN PART BY
COLIN S. EDWARDS

ORIGINAL SERIES PRODUCTION FUNDING PROVIDED IN PART BY
CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING
ARNHOLD FOUNDATION
THE FAIRWEATHER FOUNDATION
KATE W. CASSIDY FOUNDATION
SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III
KATHY CHIAO AND KEN HAO
FILOMEN M. D’AGOSTINO FOUNDATION
CHARLES ROSENBLUM
LILLIAN GOLDMAN CHARITABLE TRUST
SANDRA ATLAS BASS

SERIES PRODUCER
BILL MURPHY

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
FRED KAUFMAN

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