TV

Cape Cod Gets a Shout Out in the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week

Sharks of the Badlands follows local shark expert Greg Skomal as he tests new shark surveillance technologies.


great white shark

Photo via Getty Images

With all the crazy shark videos and sightings over the past few days, it feels like we’ve been having a shark week of our own here in Massachusetts. Starting this weekend, though, the entire nation will get a dose of the creatures as Discovery Channel kicks off its annual Shark Week, a seven-day stretch of shark-themed programming. This is the 31st iteration of the hotly-anticipated summer event, and the lineup is looking pretty stacked, from tales of real-life shark encounters and experiments to a feature-length film starring Josh Duhamel.

However, no Shark Week would be complete without a nod to our hometown sharks. This year, shark experts are diving deep into the Cape Cod great white scene in Sharks of the Badlands, airing Monday, July 29 at 8 p.m. In the program, underwater cinematographers and shark researchers Andy Casagrande and Kina Scollay team up with Greg Skomal, Program Manager and Senior Scientist at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. Together, the team will head to New Zealand to “test the most exciting, cutting-edge new technology for shark detecting surveillance,” according to a release, and potentially bring that technology back to Cape Cod.

The show was produced after a landmark summer in shark activity. Researchers tagged over 150 great white sharks in Cape Cod over the summer of 2018, and the region also saw its first fatal shark attack in 80 years.

“This is part of their historical migration that’s probably been going on for millions of years,” Skomal told Boston this past May. “They are drawn to the presence of gray seals, whose numbers are now on the rebound after we virtually wiped them out and kept their population down through bounty systems where these animals were killed.”

Skomal is known for his work in shark detection research. He was one of the first biologists to successfully track great whites using an acoustic tag system, and he has made many a cool shark video for the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy using a GoPro. What new technologies will he uncover with this superstar shark team? Tune in Monday to find out.