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Discovery Channel's Shark Week Kicks off 25th Year of Jaw-Dropping Programming

Check out some of the summer’s best TV all week long and also read about recent shark sightings in nearby Dana Point.

Skip the reality shows; it’s time again for shark week on the Discovery Channel, which premiered its 25th season on Sunday. 

Up ahead is a "jawsome" week filled with documentaries and special shows, including How Jaws Changed the World, which looks at the ramifications of Peter Benchley's bestseller and the movie it inspired, as well as how it contributed to the vilification of sharks.

There is also a LIVE Shark Cam feed you can watch and get a first-hand look at these incredible creatures. Click here to view the USTREAM  live video of sharks (and many other marine animals) in the Ocean Voyager exhibit at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

The feed will be live throughout August, and daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. PST.  Beginning on Monday, tune in for live diver Q&A sessions starting at 9:30 p.m. PST and watch daily whale shark feedings at 7:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. PST — every week day during Shark Week. 

Locally, in Dana Point and around its coastline, there have been a number of shark sightings, so always use caution when deciding to go into the water.

“No matter what people want to believe, we have plenty of sharks in the water around Dana Point,” said Capt. Brian Woolley of Dana Wharf and SportFishing’s Sum Fun vessel. “We even have white sharks close to home. Anywhere you have large populations of sea lions and seals; you’re going to find large sharks.”

Sharks are everywhere around here, he added.

“You even have small sharks swimming past your feet at the and probably don’t even realize it,” he said.

For example, in April, there was a rare sighting of a basking shark. Click here to watch the video of of it spotted off the Dana Point coastline taken by the 'Sum Fun' during a 3/4 day fishing trip.

The basking shark is considered to be the second largest fish, behind the whale shark, according to Dana Wharf's General Manager Donna Kalez. 

In July 2011, in another rare occurrence in local waters, Capt. Todd Mansur also of Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching spotted a great white shark and was able to catch it all on YouTube video.

He was out during a whale watch in the evening aboard the 'Dana Pride' with 149 passengers and headed home. While the group was observing three blue whales, Mansur stopped the 95-foot boat abruptly.

It was then that Mansur announced over the loudspeaker: "Guys, we seem to be in the path of a great white shark."

Mansur said the 10- to 12-foot shark was indeed heading straight for the boat.

"This was the first time on record our passengers got to see a great white—truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience," he said at the time. 

"We were in 20 fathoms when Todd yells at me, 'Hey it's a shark!'  So, naturally, I am thinking a little mako or blue shark, possibly a thresher.  Well, how about this little 12-foot great white? Amazingly enough, he swam by the boat for about five to six minutes and finished with this ending scene. It only took 47 years to see one of these in the area.  Pretty sweet," recalled Captain Larry Hartmann at the time.

And of course, swimming with sharks took on a new meaning a few months ago when a YouTube video, went viral showing a 5-year-old girl named Anaia whose parents allowed her to swim, even though supervised, with several types of sharks while on vacation.

At the time, her mother said they are simply an adventurous family. However, since the video has circulated, there has been a backlash from other parents calling them irresponsible. They posted to video share with family and friends but never expected it to go viral. 

If you’d rather stay clear of the ocean, go ahead and rent the true story about up and coming surfer, Bethany Hamilton, whose arm was bitten off by a shark.

And resident blogger, Norm Bour, spent time in a different Shark Tank – the one on TV. You can read his blogs and about his experience about being at the filming of the show that many have come to enjoy about high powered executives bidding on the ordinary person’s inventions.

And lastly, you can also celebrate the recent in the comfort and safety of your own home. 

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