Gulf State Park

Shark Week

Shark Week 2022 at Gulf State Park
GSP Shark Week by Patricia Moses - MSU Ray Dissection
GSP Shark Week by Patricia Moses - Marine Resources Touch Tank I
GSP Shark Week by Patricia Moses - MSU Tiger Shark I
GSP Shark Week by Patricia Moses - MSU Shark Jaw Display
GSP Shark Week by Patricia Moses - Photo Station II
GSP Shark Week by Patricia Moses - MSU Shark Dissection
GSP Shark Week by Patricia Moses - Education Table

Shark Week at Gulf State Park: Fun for the Entire Family!


The annual Shark Week event will be hosted at Gulf State Park Pier from Monday, July 11th to Friday, July 15th, 2022. Each day, festivities will be from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.


Throughout the week, patrons can participate in a variety of events related to the iconic shark species in the Gulf of Mexico. Activities will include arts and crafts, a scavenger hunt, educational programs, a stingray touch tank and more! All the events this week will offer patrons a chance to dive deep into the incredible world of sharks!


Gulf State Park is excited to partner with regional organizations for Shark Week. Each day, Marine Resources Division of AL DCNR will have a touch tank filled with various ray species native to the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, researchers from the Mississippi State University Marine Fisheries Ecology will be visiting hosting a variety of  AMAZING programs.


The admission fee for Shark Week is $3 per person. This purchase will also allow patrons to sightsee along the Pier.


Check out the schedule of programs hosted by MSU Marine Fisheries Ecology:


Shark Week 2022 at GSP Schedule of Events


For more information on the daily programs offered by MSU, read the program descriptions below:


Monday: Know Your Elasmobranchs: Shark and Ray Species Identification

During each of these sessions, you will view shark and ray species profiles along with real, preserved specimens and jaws to learn tips and tricks for differentiating the dozens of shark and ray species that inhabit the Gulf of Mexico. After that, don’t miss a chance to check out our specimen and jaw collections and take photos with your favorites!


Tuesday: Biology of Sharks and Rays

During each of these sessions, we will discuss some unique biological features of sharks and rays, including skin and senses, internal organs, and reproduction. If this session captures your interest, consider attending our daily dissections at 11 AM on Wednesday and Friday and 12 PM today and on Thursday for an up-close perspective on shark and ray anatomy and physiology!


Wednesday: Predators and Prey: How Sharks Hunt

During each of these sessions, you will learn what various sharks and rays eat, as well as the ways their bodies (including their teeth) are adapted to help them catch and consume their favorite prey. We will also reveal some surprising discoveries about the diet of tiger sharks from our own research here in the Gulf of Mexico!


Thursday: Shark Research

During each of these sessions, we will introduce you to our scientific “bottom longline” survey and share some shark tagging videos and shark tracks! You will also learn all about remotely operated vehicles. For the young scientists in the audience, we will round out the session with a feature on careers in marine biology and fisheries by Dr. Marcus Drymon, Assistant Extension Professor at Mississippi State University.


Friday: Sharks and Humans

During each of these sessions, we will discuss the complicated history between sharks and humans. We will talk about past events that prompted a widespread fear of sharks, the pioneering shark scientists whose work defined the field of shark research, and the eventual rise of shark conservation that will lead to a better future for these important apex predators.