Saturday, May 23, 2009

Great Men think alike

I knew this was coming - and Bingo!

Check out this video.

It tells the story of the roll-out of the Shark Free Marinas Initiative but in the end, the anchor attributes the success in Ft. Myers to the same people. This of course is not true and Shark Diver was quick in pointing out that the praise for it must go to the Shark Safe Project.

Sloppy journalism?
Yes, maybe - but oh-so-predictable.
The reason being that both outfits have their own "Marinas" initiative, with virtually identical goals and virtually identical logos. In fact, having dug around a bit, I notice that the "Shark Safe Marina" logo is identical to the "Shark Free Marina" logo of the Bimini Sands Resort and Marina.
Check it out - no wonder the lady was confused!.

Is this going to be the harbinger of yet another one of those nasty and stupid Eco-wars that are so commonplace in the wonderful world of Conservation? Yet another WWF vs Greenpeace vs Sea Shepherds?

I've said it before, Shark people are uniquely toothy, opinionated and vociferous - on top of being as tribal, back-stabbing and petty as any other self-respecting closely knit group where everybody knows one another and many have years of shared "history", be it life-long friendships or irreconcilable enmity.

I'm certainly no exception to that rule, especially when it comes to Fiji.
And having dared to dabble in "Shark Politics" far away from home, I'm very much subjected to the very same dynamics. In fact, when it comes to these two Orgs, I'm increasingly being asked to finally commit to one "camp".

Thing is, why should I.
Both have managed to mobilize great, talented and committed personalities, some of which I admire very much and some of which are among my best friends. Both strive to achieve the same goals by promoting smart and inclusive Conservation.

Should this not be about the well-being of the Sharks?
And if so - will it be possible to bury any hatchets and unite the efforts in order to roll out one coherent, efficient and successful campaign - and one only? Or are we really going to see two identical organizations with identical messages "compete" for the very same Marinas - and appear stupid and petty in the process?

Yes, it may already be too late - but please, guys, give it some thought.

PS: Felix spotted this as well.


sharkfreemarinas said...

Thanks for covering this story, Shark-Free Marinas is indeed embarking on some important work which deserves cooperative support.

To that end your points about a perceived rivalry between the Shark-Free and Shark-Safe Marinas are well made but a little ahead of itself. Shark-Free Marinas was indeed an initiative of Sharkdivers but is now a non-denominational, operator independent company.

After 5 months of development we have launched our public presence at We ask for the support of the entire shark community and welcome all who can contribute. If another initiative with a similar name exists we wish them success as their goals couldn't be too far from ours.

The Shark-Free Marina Initiative will never issue any negative statement aimed at any operator, organization or initiative (unless they're killing sharks!)... our intention is clear and only has one agenda - to reduce worldwide shark mortality. Any group working towards the same goals will never be viewed as rivals.

Luke Tipple
Director of the Shark-Free Marina Initiative

DaShark said...

Thank you Luke, well said!

Amen and Pax Vobiscum - to all of you guys!