Why They Were Nicknamed The Shark Brothers
Innovators of recreational shark release fishing methods, tournament practices and public perception.
Drawn to wildlife interaction since childhood, and fascinated with sharks after seeing the movie JAWS in 1975, Sean and Brooks Paxton's efforts to effectively blur the lines between sport, science and conservation took on new meaning during the late 1990's. They've since taken on important and impactful roles in forward-thinking shark conservation efforts by leveraging their experience as explorers, performers and producers, and are now widely recognized as innovative and influential personalities in the world of educational entertainment.
View Shark Brothers Promo and Featured Work on Timeline Below
View Discovery Channel Shark Week Clip and Other Work on Timeline Below
|2009 - PRESENT: Creators and Producers of the Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge Tournament & Festival and other high-profile events like the Shark's Eye Tournament & Festival in Montauk, NY. These pioneering event formats are recognized as the Next Generation in Shark-Release Tournaments. Major innovations include: angling and equipment protocols designed to maximize proper handling and post-release welfare of sharks, high tech integration of science and research, certified observer training program, live streaming of competition to tournament and festival crowds and public education and conservation outreach campaigns. Unprecedented strategic alliances and support include: the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium and the Mote Center for Shark Research, Dr. Robert E. Hueter, Dr. Guy Harvey, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, OCEARCH, Dr. Greg Skomal, Concerned Citizens of Montauk, Wendy Benchley, Humane Society of the United States, and the Shark Friendly Marinas Initiative. More Info|
|ONGOING: Respond to inquiries from recreational anglers and tournament operators in their home state of Florida and from as far away as Canada, Ocean City, MD, Buenos Aries, Argentina and Montauk, NY. The brothers welcome any chance to share information and provide consultation about their operations in the recreational shark fishing and tournament industries. They consider these valued opportunities to foster collaborative promotion of sustainable recreational practices in shark fisheries around the world, while also maintaining the rights of sportsmen and women.
|2010: Joined the Mote Center for Shark Research on expeditions in the Gulf of Mexico as science team members and documentary film crew. The long-term study, headed by Dr. Robert E. Hueter - Dir. of the Center for Shark Research was funded by a grant from BP Oil and is a cooperative effort between Mote, the Florida Institute of Oceanography and the University of South Florida. Goals of the study include determination of long-term impacts of the BP oil disaster on sharks and other large fish species like tuna and billfish. More Info|
|ONGOING: Provide expert opinion and commentary for press and media inquiries about their role in shark-related projects and conservation efforts. Also provide expert input and testimony to government agencies such as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), regarding management polices and best practice methods for sustainable recreational shark-release fishing|
|ONGOING: Production and presentation of multi-media educational programs for the general public. Content and messaging is leveraged to promote a more accurate portrayal of sharks mostly dismissed by mainstream news and entertainment industries in favor of more sensationalized perspectives. Their live program, "Sharks - From Fear to Fascination" and collaborative public display of the World's largest collection of authentic JAWS movie props and memorabilia have proven to be effective myth-busting conservation tools. They'd like to thank "Bruce" from the movie JAWS for his help in this effort. Yes, that's him, alright. (pictured left). More Info|
|2008 - PRESENT: Produced and filmed this all-release, land-based shark fishing tournament, "the Blacktip Challenge". Designed specific catch, tag and release protocols for event, co-authored rules and regulations and published best practices field guide for competing anglers outlining specific requirements to ensure safe and proper handling of sharks and post-release welfare of all animals caught and released during competition. Coordinated research tagging with the National Marine Fisheries Service, Apex Predators Tagging Program. More Info|
|2009: Provided hands-on consultation for director of established southwest Florida tournament to re-engineer its competitive design from a traditional kill format to all-release. Assisted with innovative unveil and promotion of new format, along with production and presentation of a customized public educational program, "SharkStravaganza!" at the event's companion festival.
|2005 - 2008: "Monster Man". Shot documentary-style over the span of three years, it chronicles the Brothers' adventures with Frank Mundus - the Monster Man of Montauk during the last years of his legendary life. In 06-07, with members of an elite team, they repossessed, recovered and restored Mundus' famed shark fishing vessel, Cricket II. Hidden away in a North Carolina boatyard, the team returned her home to Montauk, NY in time for Mundus' last high-seas adventures. Mundus and the Cricket II were real-life inspirations for Peter Benchley's iconic character, Capt. Quint and his boat the Orca in the book and movie JAWS. Mundus invented sportfishing for sharks in the 1950's and "Monster Man" traces the sport's history and evolution through post 1970's JAWS hysteria to modern-day shark release fishing like that being made popular by the Paxton Brothers.
|2006 - PRESENT: Conceived by Sean Paxton in 2002 and launched by the Brothers in 2006, the International Land-Based Shark Fishing Association (ILSFA) is the World's first and still the only organization to certify World Records for released sharks. This sustainable record category for sharks released after capture is made possible by using a widely accepted large species estimated weight formula, in conjunction with other specific qualifying protocols, such as photographs. Anglers can now receive official international recognition for their accomplishments without having to weigh their catch. With large, predatory species, such as sharks, obtaining a true dead weight is not practical without first killing the animal. More Info|
|2001 - PRESENT: Volunteer researchers for the National Marine Fisheries Service, Apex Predators Cooperative Shark Tagging Program. The program's mission is to conduct life history studies of commercially and recreationally important shark species. Information gathered from their research programs provides baseline biological data for the management of large Atlantic sharks. More Info|
|Circa 1975: The little Shark Bros playing with their most prized toys of the day; official JAWS movie merchandise, plastic great white sharks. We put our GI Joes with all their frogmen gear and inflatable Zodiac through hell with these things in many a swimming pool and bathtub. We didn't realize it at the time, but that book and movie would lead us down a long and sharky path in our personal and professional lives. We reserve a very special round of gratitude to Peter Benchley for acting on his creative inspiration in bringing JAWS to life. We never got to thank him personally, but having the support of his wife, Wendy, and collaborating with her on shark conservation efforts has been among the most rewarding experiences, both personally and professionally, of our lives.