Saturday, February 09, 2013

Aliwal Shoal - too good to be true?

Undoubtedly the Rosa Parks moment of SA Shark Conservation - or maybe not! Source.

A Victory for the Remove the Nets Campaign
On November 7th 2012, we claimed a great victory for sharks and a testament to the power of the local grassroots activism Shark Angels inspires.
Thanks in part to the hard work from several shark angels for almost four years, KZN Sharks Board has buckled under the pressure and has recommended the removal of four gill nets in the Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area within the next year.
This includes nets at both Scottburgh and Park Rynie and is a monumental step towards the abandonment of shark nets throughout the country – and hopefully at some point, the globe. The announcement, which came at the quarterly meeting of the Aliwal Shoal Forum in KwaZulu Natal, was made quietly and without fanfare - because it signals the weakening of the Sharks Board and constitutes an incredible triumph for those working hard to protect sharks, who have been struggling to achieve the removal of the nets since 2008.
Really?
If so, this would indeed be a great accomplishment by the South African Shark Angels, and huge kudos to everybody involved.

And yet...
Maybe it's just me with my visceral suspicion of anything associated with Julie Andersen for whom I have zero respect. Can't quite put a finger on it - but I got a big nose, and this breathy self congratulatory victory lap before anything has been confirmed by facts on the ground just doesn't smell quite right...
Recommending does not mean deciding or promising, and within the next year (2014?) appears awfully vague, too!

Happy to be proven wrong though - seriously!
As always, we shall see - and being me, I've prophylactically copy/pasted the whole announcement lest there be latter editorial changes like so often! :)

Anybody in SA who can independently verify this?

PS: Patric - OMG!!!
PS2: Lesley Rochat here.
PS3: And here comes the latter editorial change - much as anticipated!
        NOW, the post reads
Progress for the Remove the Nets Campaign
On November 7th 2012, great progress was made in the campaign to remove South Africa’s shark nets, marking a huge step forward for shark conservation and standing as a testament to the power of grassroots activism.
At the quarterly meeting of the Aliwal Shoal Forum in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, Shark Angel Mark Addison witnessed the KZN Sharks Board recommend the removal of the gill nets at Park Rynie to the local municipality. If this recommendation is acted upon (as every other Sharks Board suggestion has been) it will constitute the first step towards the abandonment of shark nets throughout the province. The Sharks Board also recommended the replacement of the two nets at Scottburgh with drumlines. The Park Rynie and Scottburgh nets are both located within the boundaries of the Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area. This recommendation by the Sharks Board signifies a positive shift in their attitude to shark conservation and an incredible triumph for sharks, the Shark Angels, and all who protect sharks and have been struggling to achieve the removal of the nets since 2008. 
An incredible triumph for the Shark Angels huh.
And this original statement (yes I really did copy/paste it!) that boasted that
The Angels creatively organized a display of support of such huge proportions it gained worldwide attention.
On May 6th 2012, members of all water user groups gathered on the beach at Scottburgh to demonstrate their disgust with the Sharks Board, and their support for the sharks. The “paddle out” protest led by the Shark Angels was inspired by Hawaiian surfing tradition to honouring dead surfers. The fact that the local community was so moved by the deaths of the tiger sharks is a huge testament not only to the work of the Shark Angels in the area, but to the compassion and understanding that is possible between humans and sharks thanks to education, media and the encouragement of ambassadors
has been changed to
However, the local community nevertheless perceived it as a massacre of such horrific proportions, one that impacted a community financially and ethically to its core, that it triggered a mass demonstration a week later. 
On May 6th 2012, members of all water user groups gathered on the beach at Scottburgh to demonstrate their disgust with the Sharks Board, and their support for the sharks. The protest, organised by African Diver magazine co-founder Cormac McCreesh, was inspired by Hawaii ‘an surfing tradition for honouring dead surfers, and took the form of a paddle out to the backline and the laying of flowers on the sea’s surface. The fact that the local community was so moved by the deaths of the tigers is a huge testament not only to the work of the Shark Angels in the area, but to the compassion and understanding that is possible between humans and sharks.  
Busted!
And I've again copy/pasted this version lest there be another editorial change!

8 comments:

The Sharkman said...

Amanda Barret just posted the following to our forum

From: Amanda Barratt
To: The_Shark_Group@googlegroups.com
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2013 7:46 AM

Subject: [TSG] Re: Nets to go from Aliwal Shoal in South Africa


I am most annoyed. I have no idea why Shark Angels posted this message, as, given they were the only party to do so, I did some digging, and needless to say, the information is false. I am assuming this is a mere misinterpretation of the discussions held last year. Natal Sharks Board have confirmed to me after consulting with the local council involved, that the nets are not going.
Amanda
------------

As I responded to the forum.... I'll give you 3 guesses why they published this, but I am sure you'll get it right with the first one!!

DaShark said...

Do I get a guess, too? :)

In the meantime, there have been e-mails behind the scenes.
From what I understand - and I'm just parroting plausible info without being able to properly double-check.

- the KZNSB has indeed proposed but the decision lays with the municipality that has however not decided - and apparently a positive outcome is not a given.

- the proposal apparently suggests removing two of four Shark nets in Scottburgh but replacing them with drum lines - hence Sharks would continue to be culled but bycatch would be reduced, which is good.

All-in-all if so decided it would certainly be progress.

The victory lap however appears premature and also misleading.
Clever choice of words, clever selective info.
No acknowledgement of the dozens of other folks & orgs who have contributed, if not led the way.

Very Julie if u ask me.

OfficetoOcean said...

From what I've also heard, the NSB have agreed to consider taking steps regarding the nets but by all accounts that's as far as it goes, they're merely considering various options so the announcement is something of a premature spurt in South Africa's shark conservation underpants.

SharkWarrior said...

It was disappointing that after I published my blog to help clear up the misinformation Shark Angels had released, and in a closed Facebook group I am not part of, but was made aware of, a Shark Angel, Olivia Symcox, proceeded to insult me in countless comments. The derogatory personal attacks aside, I was accused of running them down, which anyone reading my blog will affirm I never did.
And although in my blog I set straight the dishonest claim that the Paddle Out was their initiative by giving credit to the right person, I never mentioned their post claimed otherwise - what was important was to provide the information I had in order to help clear things up.

Therefore if setting misinformation right results in such aggressive slander behind the person's back providing it then I am left to wonder about the core individuals who make up the Shark Angels.

Nonetheless, I do believe there are many other Shark Angels doing good conservation work and support their efforts. I am also pleased to see the post has been edited. They might consider a public apology for their initial misleading post which would be appropriate too.
Lesley Rochat

DaShark said...

Anathema!!!
Sniping and slander, and this behind one's back - and this from, gasp, Angels?

C'mon Leslie - did you really expect anything else?

And, are you telling me that they've insulted you and not me?
Now THAT would be disappointing! :)

Shark Diver said...

Oh sure, Leslie gets slandered, but what about the rest of us us?

I mean what does a guy have to do to get slandered in public by some shark cons wearing Moldy Black Duck Wings these days?

What makes Leslie so special?;)

The Shark Angel ongoing media problem looks like this:

"Shark Angels = Sea Shepherd = Media Bull Shit = $$$"

As long as the $$$ value remains so will Sea Shepherd and Shark Angels because those orgs cannot run on just raw unbridled egos alone.

Lord knows they tried back in 1979 as part of a Paul Watson initiative wherein they hooked his Grandness up to an "EGO Fusion Drive" to power his then flagship the Farley Mowat.

Sadly, the experiment ended in abject failure as many of Sea Shepherds efforts do but not before posting a breathy press release:

A Victory for the EGO Fusion Drive Campaign!

On November 7th 1979, we claimed a great victory for world energy and a testament to the power of the local grassroots activism Sea Shepherd inspires.

Thanks in part to the hard work from several unnamed and un celebrated Sea Shepherds for almost four years, Paul Watson's EGO Fusion Drive will be fully operational within the next year.

This includes powering not only the Farley Mowat with his Grandness but entire cities of the future – and hopefully at some point, the globe.

Our announcement, which came at the quarterly meeting of the Sea Shepherd Board located a short distance from the Denny's Tuesday All-You-Can-Eat Midnight Buffet (now with 30% more fried shrimp), was made quietly and without fanfare - because it signals the weakening of Big Oil Interests and constitutes an incredible triumph for those working hard to protect the environment (like us), who have been struggling to achieve the freedom from Big Oil since, like, forever, in fact we thought of it first!.

jsd said...

I image-googled 'Shark Angels'.

Phwor.

What are the chances we could get them to ditch their distracting bikinis?







Ila France Porcher said...

It is truly disappointing to see that this group of people, which could have become a powerful influence in inspiring young women to appreciate and protect sharks, has been so careless of its reputation . . .