|Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Adventures: Press Release|
JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU REVEALS THE OCEAN'S GREATEST PREDATORS AND MOST ANCIENT MARINERS IN TWO NEW SPECIALS:
"SHARKS AT RISK" AND "THE GRAY WHALE OBSTACLE COURSE"
AIRING ON PBS, JULY 12 AND 19
Fear and Profit Drive Sharks to the Brink as Cousteau Takes Risks with Great Whites and More in South Pacific and Africa
Cousteau Tracks Whales 12,000 Miles to Discover Their Decline
Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures returns this July with two new specials examining the giants of the ocean; Sharks At Risk, airing Wednesday, July 12, 2006 at 8pm (60 minutes), and The Gray Whale Obstacle Course, airing the following Wednesday, July 19, 2006 at 8pm (60 minutes) on PBS. Both specials are narrated by Pierce Brosnan and co-produced by Ocean Futures Society (OFS) and KQED Public Television.
In Sharks at Risk, Cousteau uncovers the shocking story of the worldwide extermination of sharks and discovers that sharks have more to fear of humans than we do of them. Long-maligned as man-eaters, the precipitous decline of sharks could impact many other species in the food chain, as Cousteau's investigation reveals.
"Sharks have been on our planet for 400 million years, yet we are systematically wiping them out," Cousteau said. "We kill 100 to 200 million sharks a year-about 11,000 every hour of every day-while less than 100 shark attacks on humans are reported annually. Over 120 species of sharks are threatened or endangered, and some have declined by nearly 80 percent.'
Fascinated by these "monsters of the sea" since he first began diving with his father, Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel and his team take extraordinary risks in their efforts to debunk the myths and mysteries of these apex predators. The team confronts their own fears as they dive without the protection of shark cages, and, in a spine-tingling once-in-a-lifetime adventure, Cousteau is shown "catching a ride" with the great white shark.
"We take you with us right into schools of sharks and nose-to-nose with the most magical of them all-the great white," Cousteau said. "Your heart will race as mine did. I will never be the same."
In The Gray Whale Obstacle Course Cousteau embarks on a quest to unravel why North America's majestic gray whales are disappearing by the thousands. Chasing clues from their birthplace in Baja California, Mexico to their feeding grounds in the Artic Circle, the Cousteau team follows gray whales to observe, document and understand the variety of natural and man-made hurdles that these creatures must overcome in order to survive. The amazing expedition unlocks seldom-seen views of tragedy and triumph along a route nearly 12,000 miles long.
"The gray whale, a species mostly unchanged in 600,000 years, today faces a daunting task of negotiating a true obstacle course, passing some of the world's biggest cities along some of the most polluted coastlines," Cousteau said. "They must thread their way through a battlefield of challenges that will decide their fate on Earth."
The Cousteau team charts a course of discovery, meeting with scientists, researchers and American Indians as they remain hot on the trail of the 40-ton behemoths of the ocean. Their adventure unlocks spectacular images of instinct and endurance -- including an unprecedented scene of killer whales coordinating a seasonal attack on a mother gray whale and her calf, and a rare view into the unique feeding behavior of gray whales once they reach the Arctic after fasting for seven months.
Sharks At Risk and The Gray Whale Obstacle Course will be followed by the next Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures special, America's Underwater Treasures, in which Jean-Michel explores each of the little-known or visited 13 national marine sanctuaries in the United States. America's Underwater Treasures will air on PBS in the fall of 2006.
For additional information and background on Sharks At Risk and The Gray Whale Obstacle Course, please see the accompanying essays by Cousteau and team bios.
Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures is produced by KQED Public Broadcasting and Ocean Futures Society. The exclusive corporate sponsor is The Dow Chemical Company.
KQED Public Broadcasting operates KQED Public Television 9, one of the nation's most-watched public television stations during prime-time, and KQED's digital television channels, which include KQED HD, KQED Encore, KQED World, KQED Life and KQED Kids; KQED Public Radio, the most-listened-to public radio station in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service (88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento); KQED.org, one of the most visited station sites in Public Broadcasting; and KQED Education Network, which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and resources.
About Ocean Futures Society
Ocean Futures Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. With the motto, "Protect the ocean and you protect yourself," the mission of Ocean Futures Society is to explore our global ocean, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for its protection, documenting the critical connection between humanity and nature, and celebrating the ocean's vital importance to the survival of all life on our planet. OFS is based in Santa Barbara, CA, USA with offices in Paris and Lucca, Italy. For more information, visit www.oceanfutures.org.
PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 348 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. Video resources for educators are available at www.shoppbs.com/teachers. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (pbskids.org), continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.
Dow is a diversified chemical company that harnesses the power of science and technology to improve living daily. The Company offers a broad range of innovative products and services to customers in more than 175 countries, helping them to provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. Built on a commitment to its principles of sustainability, Dow has annual sales of $46 billion and employs 42,000 people worldwide. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.