5 Must-See Shark Documentaries

Every year the Discovery Channel airs a week-long event called “Shark Week.” Shark Week features a whole week of programs about sharks. Unfortunately, most of these programs are sensationalist instead of informative and are designed to simply drive ratings. The shows focus mainly on shark attacks and aggressive behaviors. So they only perpetuate the myth that sharks are a threat to humanity. So instead of relying on Shark Week to learn about sharks, we put together a list of five great documentaries you can watch to learn the truth about sharks.

5 Must-See Shark Documentaries


“Sharkwater” is a 2006 documentary by Rob Stewart that dispels the myths that sharks are dangerous, mindless hunting machines. Teaming up with Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Stewart films a beautiful documentary that is focused on shark conservation. “Sharkwater” begins with Stewart and Watson’s team attempting to report on illegal shark finning in Costa Rica, leading to dramatic and dangerous encounters with poachers. It also shows Stewart’s battle with illness and how shark research could ultimately save the lives of humans. That is, if they are allowed to survive.

“Sharkwater” depicts the harrowing attempts of conservationists, the terrible dangers sharks face from shark finning, and how the disappearance of sharks will contribute to global warming. “Sharkwater” is sometimes a very emotional documentary, but in the end is a beautiful, informative story about the importance of shark conservation. It is a must see for anyone interested in sharks, shark conservation and research, and our environment.

Galapagos: Realm Of Giant Sharks

“Galapagos: Realm of Giant Sharks” is 2015 documentary that focuses on the efforts of a team of researchers to tag and track Whale Sharks. The researchers go to a Whale Shark habitat near the famed Galapagos Islands in an attempt to track them to learn more. Little is known about Whale Sharks so their research is crucial to learn more about these amazing creatures. Though they are docile, Whale Sharks are the largest fish in the sea and are difficult to track and tag. The documentary depicts the challenges facing conservation and research efforts, while showing the beauty of these amazing creatures.

The documentary is filmed underwater and gives viewers a first hand view of Whale Sharks in their natural habitat. “Galapagos: Realm of Giant Sharks” is a great documentary for anyone who wants to learn more about Whale Sharks, Whale Shark habitats, conservation, and how researchers learn about sharks. It is a must-see if for nothing else it’s beautiful underwater photography.

This Is Your Ocean: Sharks

“This Is Your Ocean: Sharks” is a 2012 documentary that follows three marine life experts as they seek to challenge the negative reputation of sharks. The documentary focuses on the threat of overfishing and shows how important sharks are to the health of the ocean. One of the highlights of the film is when the audience meets Emma, 14-foot long Tiger Shark living outside of the Bahamas who is a gentle, affectionate friend to scientist Jim Abernathy. Emma challenges the stereotype of sharks being ruthless killing machines.

This Is Your Ocean: Sharks is an honest and personal look at how these magnificent creatures are not mindless killers, but are thoughtful creatures capable of trust and respect. This film is great for anyone looking interested in shark behavior and conservative. It is a must-see for the adorable footage of Emma and Abernathy’s unlikely friendship.

Shark Girl

Shark Girl is a 2007 television documentary about 20 year old Madison Stewart who has dedicated her whole life to shark conservation. The film follows Stewart who free dives with sharks along the Great Barrier Reef in an attempt to show viewers that sharks are deeply misunderstood. Stewart has spent her whole live diving with sharks and in just six short years she has seen a dramatic decline on shark populations in her favorite diving areas. Shark Girl highlights the importance of shark conservation and documents Stewart’s attempts to save the sharks she considers family.

Shark Girl is a great film that focuses on shark conservation and how shark dives help the effort. Stewart’s bold form of free diving is inspiring and shows that sharks do not present the threat to humans that many people think. This is a great documentary to watch with children because Stewart is a truly inspirational young woman and a great role model. It is a must see for anyone looking for ways on how to get involved in shark conservation efforts.

Of Shark And Man

Of Shark and Man is a 2015 documentary that follows an ordinary man, David Diley to pursue his lifelong dream to work with sharks. He travels to Fiji to work with a ecotourism group that leads people on shark dives. As Diley works his dream job he starts to uncover the dangers facing his favorite animals. As he discovers these issues and learns more about them, he shows the audience the limits of ecotourism to protect sharks, the threat of shark finning, and the importance of larger conservation efforts.

Of Shark and Man is a great documentary because it starts by following one man’s passion for sharks and ends up telling an important story of shark conservation. The inspiring film shows that anyone can follow their passion and take bold personal moves to make the world a better place. It is a great film to learn about ecotourism, shark conservation, and shark diving. The film is a must-see for any shark lover looking to follow their dreams and work with sharks because if Diley can do it, anyone can!

Most of these documentaries are available to watch free online on YouTube or Vimeo, so they are incredibly easy to see anytime. These documentaries show the real facts about sharks, teach us about the importance of conservation, and are full of amazing, underwater footage of these beautiful creatures. So instead of being misinformed by the shockumentaries on the next “Shark Week,” check out one of these great documentaries to learn the truth about sharks.

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