Home Film & TV Sharkfest: National Geographic Celebrates 10 Years

Sharkfest: National Geographic Celebrates 10 Years

by Neil Bui

Beginning July 10, National Geographic will be celebrating 10 years of Sharkfest, their annual summer programming centered on shark-related content.

Additionally, National Geographic has partnered with Minorities in Shark Sciences (MISS) to encourage diversity and inclusion in the shark sciences field and to inspire the next generation of scientists. As part of this collaboration, MISS experts will appear as on-screen talent and consultants for programming and development of shows for this year’s Sharkfest.

Shark experts include:

  • Candace Fields, a Ph.D. student studying the population dynamics and geographic population structure of large predators
  • Carlee Jackson, a marine biologist, sea turtle conservationist and shark expert who is championing diversity in the world of science
  • Jasmin Graham specializes in elasmobranch ecology and evolution. She is the project coordinator for the MarSci-LACE project, which is focused on researching and promoting best practices to recruit, support and retain minority students in marine science
  • Alison Towner is a senior white shark biologist and Ph.D. student examining driving factors of movement in white sharks
  • Gibbs Kuguru, a Kenyan shark scientist who works with great whites and studies the DNA of sharks
  • Dr. Mike Heithaus, the executive dean of the College of Arts, Sciences & Education (CASE) and professor in the department of biological sciences at Florida International University (FIU)
  • Sara Casareto, a graduate student at Florida International University, working on her doctorate focusing on shark biology and behavior
  • Melissa Cristina Marquez, a Puerto Rican marine biologist and science communicator studying chondrichthyan fishes, such as great white sharks
  • Ryan Johnson, a marine biologist and world-famous documentary host

With almost 30 hours of original programming and over 60 hours of enhanced content featuring scientific insights as well as beautiful visuals from some of the best ocean videographers around, viewers will not only gain a better understanding of the iconic apex predator, but also get glimpses into its beauty, power, and mystery.

Breaking new ground for the 10th anniversary, Sharkfest will be available across multiple Disney platforms such as Disney+, Hulu, ABC, ESPN, National Geographic, Nat Geo WILD and Nat Geo MUNDO.

There will be something for everyone, with the premiere of Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth on ABC, kid-friendly programming such as Camo Sharks and Maui Shark Mystery on Disney XD, ultimate species competition specials such as Game of Sharks and Great White vs. Tiger Shark premiering on ESPN, and the best of Sharkfest specials on Hulu.

Expect not only the best-of specials and series from the past 10 years, but also new content that includes deep dives into over 15 different shark species with footage from around the globe, including the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, Australia, Hawaii, South Africa, The Maldives, and more.

Here are some of the highlights from year’s Sharkfest lineup:


National Geographic — Premieres July 10 at 10/9c

Nat Geo WILD — Aug. 1 at 9/8c

Disney XD — July 16 at 10/9c

Can sharks change color at will to enhance their predatory abilities? Through groundbreaking experiments, revered shark biologists answer this evolutionary question. Shark scientists Dr. Ryan Johnson and Ph.D. candidate Gibbs Kuguru hope to capture real-time pigmentation changes to understand how these apex ocean predators manipulate their skin’s dermal cells to activate camouflage.


ESPN — Premieres July 11 at 9/8c

National Geographic — July 15 at 10/9c

It’s time for sharks to face off in the ultimate species competition with the greatest matchups the ocean has ever seen. In ten nail-biting competitions, we’ll prove once and for all which shark is the MVP of the open sea. The great white is favored, but can it beat the shortfin mako in the 100-meter dash? Or out-jump the thresher shark? Can it keep up with the appetite of the whale shark? An underdog might just swim into first place!


ESPN — Premieres July 11 at 10/9c

National Geographic — July 17 at 7/6c

Nat Geo WILD — Aug. 5 at 8/7c

Disney XD — July 31 at 9/8c

The two biggest of the BIG THREE — great whites and tiger sharks — are two of the most dangerous predators in the ocean. And they get BIG, up to 20 feet and 18 feet, respectively. But can they grow even larger than that? Where can we find the world’s biggest? Two teams of scientists are diving in to uncover the secrets of these powerful and majestic creatures.


National Geographic — Premieres July 13, at 9/8c

Nat Geo WILD — Aug. 4, at 9/8c

In the animal kingdom, males are often presumed to be the most dominant. But in the ocean, does this presumption hold water? Scientists search for answers to understand if the biggest and baddest sharks of them all are female. From the great white sharks of South Africa to the tiger sharks in the Maldives, the team seeks to uncover the ultimate rulers of the waves.


National Geographic — Premieres July 13 at 10/9c

Disney XD — July 24 at 10/9c

Nat Geo WILD — Aug. 7 at 8/7c

Even the biggest, fastest and fiercest predators start as babies. Baby sharks are cute, but they need to grow up fast because out of more than 500 species of sharks, not one parent sticks around to help raise them. Sharks are found in every ocean across the planet and have evolved in extraordinarily different ways to carry their young and give birth and for baby sharks to thrive.


ABC — Network Premiere July 13 at 8/7c

National Geographic — July 21 at 10/9c

Chris Hemsworth is on a mission to uncover the science of shark behavior and discover how humans and sharks can safely coexist. After an increase in local shark attacks along the east coast of Australia, Hemsworth seeks to understand different species of sharks and their behaviors while also exploring new preventative measures and the latest technology to help stave off shark-human encounters. The special from Nutopia (“One Strange Rock”) also features underwater conservationist and legend Valerie Taylor.

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