Senior Editor
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The Inertia

Mick Fanning has three world titles. He’s one of the best surfers that’s ever lived. And yet, outside of the surfing community — which is relatively small in comparison with other communities — Mick Fanning is “the guy who was attacked by a shark.” Now, half a decade after his shark attack at the J-Bay Open, he’s hosting a show called Save This Shark.

It makes sense that Mick Fanning is known more — in the wider world, at least — for his attack than his surfing. A shark attack broadcast live to the world is bound to make headlines, especially when the attackee fends off death by punching the attacker in the snout. Live broadcasts, in terms of general public interest, do not get any better than that. Still, now five years down the road, Mick’s shark encounter is probably the most-watched live shark attack ever. Granted, there haven’t been too many of them… but Mick’s went viral and stayed that way.

He would be forgiven, of course, if the attack put the fear of God or shark or whatever into him, but it didn’t. Oh, he had a tough time getting over it, to be sure, but Mick Fanning is not exactly scared of sharks. “He is still afraid of another shark encounter,” reads the film’s synopsis, “but he is determined to conquer his fear and let experts take him on a journey to discover all there is to love about sharks.” That’s why, along with National Geographic, Mick Fanning “will hop around the world teaming up with experts and conservationists to uncover the hidden truths about sharks, threats, and how to save them from extinction.”

Save This Shark features the work of leading experts including Dr. Charlie Huveneers, Professor Colin Simpfendorfer, Dr. Neil Hammerschlag and renowned shark conservationist Cristina Zenato.

Produced by Taylor Steele’s THIS. Film Studio, Save This Shark follows Fanning as he investigates the issue of shark versus human and some of the latest technological solutions into how sharks and people can co-exist. The documentary is airing on National Geographic in 2020, and it’s likely to be almost as watched as the attack that kicked it off.

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