Saturday, March 27, 2010

How about some Accountability!

Patric is not letting go and I say, well done!!

Several months after the fact, there's still no news about that Shark.
Or is there? And if so, why is it not being released, the more considering the fact that this was one of last year's major, and I may add: self inflicted media disasters?
Fishy business - or just the same old hubris?

Just as a reminder of what this is all about.

This is not about the professional qualifications of Michael Domeier as a scientist - in fact, I find his research interesting and I mostly like his interviews and the fact that he always tries to weave in a pro-Shark message.
And his White Shark Symposium in Hawaii has been stellar.

This is also not about whether SPOT tags are generally useful or whether the data collected are valuable, or not.

This is about a fishing show where research was used as a pretext to go angling for record sized Great Whites within two marine parks.

This is about the self serving and unethical mindset of the researcher who partook in it and the agency who gave the according permits, and the arrogance they displayed once it became clear that one of the animals had been grievously injured.

This is about about the brutal procedures employed, where an endangered animal was hooked and subdued and then hoisted upon a naked wooden platform where it was left to fight for its life whilst somebody drilled holes into it.
  • Likewise, there was no need whatsoever to brutally manhandle the Shark onto the platform, let alone to hoist her aboard and torture her for 20 minutes. It is well established procedure to bring big Sharks to the vessel and to keep them submerged, often even in a soft cradle whenever applying tags - yes, including tags that need bolting on, as amply demonstrated here by Richard Fitzpatrick!
This is about the need to finally abandon the antiquated view that research data are all-important and that they warrant treating animals as mere objects regardless of the consequences to them.

And finally, this is about accountability.
Domeier was not dragged, kicking and screaming, into the public domain - he himself chose to go there in the first place. Pity it didn't turn out as planned and that instead of the expected accolades, he got heaped with scorn once he botched it.

It's high time to stop pouting, to man up and to accept the consequences of one's doing.
If the Shark is alive and well - prove it. And if the Shark has died as the result of the injuries it has sustained, own up to your responsibility, apologize and learn the lessons that have to be learned.

In case you have forgotten, this is what Accountability is all about.

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