A new study looked at more than three decades of Shark Week content and found that the vast majority of experts shown were white men.

What's more, the tone of the coverage has tended to focus on the most dangerous shark species, often playing up people's fears of the endangered ocean predators.

"It's not doing the sharks any favours, especially because so many sharks are, you know, considered endangered or threatened with extinction."

Like many shark scientists, Whitenack grew up watching and loving Shark Week. But when she thinks back, she can't remember seeing many people who look like her or her colleagues.

Co-author David Shiffman, a conservationist at Arizona State University, noticed that Shark Week has featured more white men named Mike specifically, than it has women

Whitenack notes that Minorities in Shark Sciences (MISS), a group of marine researchers that formed last year to boost representation in the field, has more than 300 members.

“Shark Week,” a 34-year tradition and consistent ratings draw for Discovery, has faced criticism in the past. Scientists and TV critics blasted the event in 2020 for announcing a roster of TV specials that featured six White men out of eight named experts.

“‘Shark Week’ further concentrates power (in the form of publicity and media attention) in the hands of white male ‘featured scientists,’ exacerbating academic power imbalances,” Macdonald wrote.