The Shark Con



When Director Rusty Armstrong accompanied the Editor of Shark Diver magazine on a diving trip, a passion for shark conservation was shared by everyone they met. Overfishing and finning were the reasons for their depletion and had to be stopped. But then at the end of the trip, they met a retired shark fisherman who had different ideas about shark conservation…

The shark fisherman had fished sharks for three decades, and kept extensive notes about his catches and shark migrations, but then in 1997, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) attempted to put an end to overfishing and heavily reduced shark fishing quotas. Despite a well-known scientist presenting ground-breaking research that proved sharks couldn’t be overfished, his work was dismissed and the shark fisherman were put out of business.

The Shark Con uncovers the truth about the shark conservation industry.

Following the collapse of shark fishing, the shark tourism industry — comprised of people with a common goal of protecting sharks — was the next to suffer from new regulations being imposed. As the investigation mounts, it becomes clear that many non-profit organisations were raising millions of dollars each year for shark research, yet very little research was actually being done. Meanwhile, more and more regulations were being implemented.

The Shark Con takes viewers on a rollercoaster ride into the big business of shark fishing, revealing the controversial truth about the industry and answering the question: Are sharks really overfished or is this just an elaborate con?

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