When Discovery Channel’s Shark Week debuted in 1987 it was little more than straightforward educational cable TV, designed to increase understanding about sharks. Now it draws 30 million viewers and has become a pop cultural phenomenon, inspiring nail art, shoes and cupcakes! There’s even talk of getting our own Michael Phelps on Shark Week 2013. (“We’d love to get the two most powerful water superstars together,” Eileen O’Neill, group president of Discovery and TLC, told Entertainment Weekly.) But the city already has a connection to Shark Week: Andy Dehart of Baltimore’s National Aquarium has served for years as a consultant on the popular week-long series. Last year, Sr. Editor B. Boyd caught up with Dehart. We’re re-running the interview below, in honor of the “second holiest national holiday next to the week after Christmas,” as Stephen Colbert calls it. – The Eds.
Discovery Channel Shark Advisor Andy Dehart met his first shark up close at age five, while snorkeling in the Florida Keys with his father.
“Having it swim by without being aggressive changed my life,” Dehart says.