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April 01, 2011

National Geographic Channel's Shark Men hits the water this April

Science and sport fishing join forces as season two launches with back-to-back premieres Sunday, April 10, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Science and sport fishing join forces for an unprecedented hands-on research effort to study wild great whites, when Shark Men season two kicks off with back-to-back premieres Sunday, April 10, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel (NGC).  Shark Men moves to its regular timeslot on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT, beginning April 17.

The series follows the crew aboard Ocean, a mother ship 126 feet long and 33 feet wide, packed with high-tech equipment and a team of world-class anglers and leading shark experts who have the skills and raw muscle needed to haul monster sharks out of the water.

The Shark Men generated headlines last season while catching, tagging and releasing 13 massive great white sharks as part of their unique research effort to unravel the mysteries of the great white's life cycle - where the sharks are born, how they mate, where they migrate and where they congregate.  This season, the crew sets out to land even more great whites, collecting more samples and data to support their theories about shark reproduction.

Expedition leader and explorer Chris Fischer returns with seasoned shark wranglers Captain Brett McBride and Captain Jody Whitworth, who have traveled the globe with him catching and releasing some of the world's biggest fish.  Underwater videographer and dive master David Olson (who is also a gourmet chef) returns this season to keep a trained eye and camera on the sharks below water.

Dr. Michael Domeier rejoins the Shark Men as the lead scientist this season. Dr. Domeier is a renowned expert on great whites who utilizes advanced, long-term tracking devices for tagging the captured sharks. 

In the first of two expeditions off the coast of California, the Shark Men are granted a rare permit to catch and release sharks in the Farallon Islands marine sanctuary off the coast of San Francisco, but jeopardize the entire project with a dramatic series of unfortunate mishaps.  After they recover in the Farallones, they move south to tag juvenile great whites in dangerously close proximity to surfers and swimmers near Malibu's famed beaches.

The Shark Men return to the waters near Guadalupe Island, where they successfully caught and tagged 13 great whites in season one, to tag and collect more blood samples from adult female white sharks. Then they head on to the beautiful Sea of Cortez, where they join forces with a leading giant squid expert, Dr. Steve O'Shea, in the hope of capturing footage of this elusive predator in its natural habitat.  All the while, the Shark Men strive to break their own records for capturing the largest sharks ever caught and released.

Great whites are the world's largest predatory fish, reaching more than 20 feet long and weighing up to 7,000 lbs.  But for all their size and power, they are in trouble.  Their numbers have been decimated by overfishing.  The key to protecting the species is protecting the waters where great whites give birth.  Nobody knows for certain where this happens, but the Shark Men are on the brink of discovering and helping to protect this vital marine habitat.