Friday, November 11, 2011

Nat Geo Shark Attack Experiment LIVE - appalling!

Changing perceptions? Another example of totally misguided good intentions - alas!

Here we go again.
Welcome to The Human Shark Bait Experiment.

From the description.
It is the stuff of nightmares and Hollywood horror.
Miles off shore, your boat capsizes at night in the world's most shark-infested waters. A life preserver keeps your head barely above the dark waters. You can practically hear the ominous music indicating that rows of razor teeth are torpedoing toward you. But how much is our fear of this larger-than-life predator founded in fact, and how much is misinformation? Which factors increase the chance of attack, and what could you do to stay off the menu?

And then comes the list of ludicrous ad hoc experiments.
  • Swimming vs. floating. Does floating listlessly or actively swimming make humans a more attractive target?
  • Color, contrast and shiny surfaces. Do certain colors, bright jewelry or diving equipment attract or provoke sharks to attack
  • Bodily fluids. We know a shark can detect minuscule amounts of blood, so will human blood or other fluids like urine signal that a tasty meal is at hand?
  • Bare skin. Does exposed human skin, like bare feet, bring them in for the kill?
  • Time of day. Does cover of darkness or daylight increase the likelihood of a shark's attacking?
  • Panic and fear. Do our involuntary reactions to stress, like an elevated heartbeat, ring the dinner bell for sharks
Great isn't it.

Did I hear changing perceptions?

How about unadulterated Shark Porn instead.
Once again, the life history of Sharks is being reduced to one dimension only: teeth, killing and attacks on humans. This has nothing to do with conservation, this is once again only about the adrenaline, the questionable fame of a Nat Geo production and yes, above all, the money!
Pecunia non olet once again!

The perpetrators? Here they are.
Very much unsurprisingly, we got one of the greatest names in the history of the world, Shark cinematographer extraordinaire, human shark bait but! humble closet conservationist ABC4.
So much for But I make an honest effort to avoid films that involve shark attacks and negative portrayals of sharks—most of the stuff I do is driven by sharks hunting what they naturally hunt, you know, seals, turtles huh!

And the other smirking experts, or whatever?
Yes that would once again be the usual Crème de la Crème of self professed South African Shark conservationists - and all veritable Shark Angels on top of it, no less!

No, I'm not gonna dwell.
If you haven't yet caught on to the total Bullshit that is the Shark Angels, nor grasped the total lack of substance of a certain brand of moronic media-driven South African Shark conservation where the actual track record of the self promoting Shark-grabbing bikini bimbettes is A Big Fat Zero, nothing I will ever say is going to change your mind anyway.
Patric is absolutely right when he writes that S.A is a world away from conservation norms and I have no illusions that whilst the local Sharks continue to be massacred, we will be graced with many more self congratulatory PSAs and appalling media produced by those people.

The questions however stand.
  • Are we gonna continue pretending this aint happening?
  • Are we gonna continue watching that shit?
  • Are we the operators gonna continue enabling it?
  • Are we gonna continue giving our business to operators that do?
  • Are we gonna continue associating with those people?


Cristina Zenato said...

Thank you as always for the great food for thought. And this time for the final decision to act. At least at a personal level. Respect.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, maybe this is just a ruse and it's actually a plan by that ohh so talented ABC4 chappy to release his second mind blowing musical rendition on the World. Having proven that Mr. C. carcharias is as adverse to bad music as the rest of us I've heard on the grapevine that ABC4 has bettered his past effort, pulled out all the plugs for his next release. 'Stripey Stripe Bitey Bitey' (sung to the tune of that timeless classic 'Achy Breaky Heart') will indeed be accompanied by the latest in underwater Xylophone technology and digitally enhanced for viewer pleasure.

It took some doing but the cash incentives from the 'Yellow Square' were enough to convince both ABC4 and the peroxide piranhas to forego their ethics and allow their 'illustrious' names and organizations add to the juggernaut of shark demonization. Just goes to show what a desperate hankering for air time will do to people.

Oh well, I guess all we'll need now is for the show to include those oft relied on and scientifically proven facts of 100 million dead sharks a year linked to apocalyptic scenarios and we'll be set for yet another production with all the characteristics of a bucket of horse shit from China, far fetched!

I was gonna get cable next month but now I don't think I'll bother!

DaShark said...

peroxide piranhas?

I LIKE that! :)

Grant said...

ABC is part of the larger problem self promotion vs shark conservation. We see far too much of it these days. Perhaps we can get him and his "peroxide piranhas" to scale back the B.S.

Wonder if there's any self searching introspection at all or do they actually believe the hype they have been putting out for the past year?

I am hoping Andy will do a rendition of Jackson's Thriller, surrounded by sharks wearing a tuna suit and nothing else.

I would watch that.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disagree, but I don't see the point with condemning something that has not been aired yet. Mike, you didn't see it, I didn't either and nobody did, so what allows you to decide it's sh.t? Who do you think YOU are? I would like to add that your obvious anti-South African feelings are getting irritating and that, to my eyes, you are using this blog for 'bravely' settling some personal accounts. Criticizing is one of the easiest things in the world and you're a master at it, but I sadly don't manage to see anything positive for sharks in your writings?

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

Too bad there's someone out there who wants to make this about Mike.

You're barking up the wrong tree and you have not read this blog because if you had you would note that it is balanced, nuanced, and an industry staple.

Mike has been at the forefront of shark conservation issues from Mangroves to the internal politics in Fiji all for the sharks. He and his team get things done and are natural leaders by doing so.

You want to dispute that, then you have not been following his teams efforts for the past five years.

It reads like a 'How To" for shark conservation.

Our industry went through a transformation of sorts when it adopted shark conservation efforts. It was a messy marriage, but it has settled down, and now it needs some polishing.

Some rolled up their sleeves and got down the the business at hand, producing self funded initiatives, getting areas set aside, banning shark fin. Others used the movement as a personal media machine with moronic out put that got you the next film gig because it looked and smelled like shark conservation - it was not not.

What Mike often posts is the undercurrent and distillation of emails, comments, and sentiment within our industry.

He also has the Cajones to post this undercurrent as few out there want to draw industry ire for any reason even if it benefits the sharks.

I never understood this.

You can be friends with someone but when they are involved in a production that chain wraps a Tiger shark, to sit by and say and do nothing for that animal is not conservation.

You may not like what Mike writes here but you should heed what Mike writes here.

As an industry I think we can pull back from some of the over-the-top look-at-me ain't I grand saving sharks rhetoric that has become a staple.

Like I said the marriage wasn't pretty but now we're here we can polish the final product.

The question this posts asks, what is shark porn and does it have a place within the shark conservation sphere is valid, timely, and yes we need to deal with this now.

You may not agree, but in the final summation, if I was to choose someone to speak for sharks in a manner that I knew would be effective, Mike would be my go-to guy.

Perhaps you prefer glossy video PSA's with guys playing guitars to white sharks. May I remind you since that video aired there have been 6 fatal white shark attacks, and over a dozen non fatal attacks, and Australia is in the process of culling white sharks.

Meanwhile the folks behind that PSA and enjoying another high pay film gig in S.A to try and debunk the "myth" that sharks attack people.

Does this make any sense?

Perhaps not, but to the dead and dying white sharks of Rottnest Island that glossy PSA did nothing, whereas a PSA today from the site, featuring the dead animals would move mountains, change policy, and open the eyes of millions.

It's a question of priorities.

Anonymous said...

I have once meetings Mr. Andy on sharks filming expedition. He is great man! He is with always making talks with everyone, telling them to protect the shark! I know many men who fished for the shark, but then Andy tells them NO! And they will listen because he is many passionate. In my home country, I bring with back the posting card of shark which Andy has made. It says to save the great white sharks. I show this to many of my friend, and they say "Yes! this is great!" and now we tell every fishing man we meet about why is bad to fish the shark.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, maybe this is just a ruse and ABC4 is actually ABC5 framing ABC4 for all the Shark Pornography?

Anonymous said...

ha. what a douche. the dude might as well write a blog that says "I am so jealous of Andy Casagrande. He gets to travel the world, getting paid to dive with sharks and hot chicks. I wish I was him, but because I am not, I am going to be bitter and talk trash on him. wahhhhhhhh!!!!" (toys fly out of cot)

DaShark said...

Anonymous #2

The circling of the wagons, the xenphobic conspiracy theories, the shooting of the messenger.

Old scores?
Never been there, don't know the actors - and I'm actually a big fan of some of the ZA GW dudes.

I criticize people who do bad things with Sharks wherever and whoever they are - and I very much praise real Shark conservation.
Not my fault if always the same folks down there come up with this incessant deluge of shit.

And this hypocritical hit piece on Sharks?
I betcha that after 40' of those moronic death defying stunts, nobody gets eaten - and that somebody will then go on camera and state, gee, it shows that Sharks are misunderstood and not what they are made out to be.
Think that's conservation?

Always the same old tired MO to "justify" airing ever more of the same old tired anti-Shark garbage.

And so it goes.

OfficetoOcean said...

Put me down as a +1 on Shark Diver's post because he said it better than I ever could

Unknown said...

The more we can learn about what triggers sharks to attack people, the better we will become at learning how to live with them. National Geographic stands firmly behind shark conservation efforts and research that will help alleviate the conflict between these magnificent top predators and ourselves.

In this part of South Africa, many beaches use shark nets to protect the human bathers at vacation resorts — and sharks become entangled and drown. The beaches must be protected because human life is precious and South Africa needs its tourism industry for the benefit of its people. But everyone wants to find a better way to learn to live with sharks. South Africa was the first country in the world to give official protection to great white sharks, so it does not lightly use measures to protect humans that cause the destruction of sharks. There is ongoing research to find a better way.

If this experiment can help promote awareness of the fact that humans are not typically a prey species for sharks, and that if we all know what to do and what not to do to minimize the likelihood of even an occasional attack when we are in the water with them, then we will have made progress toward encouraging people to appreciate and care for sharks.

I do know that we need to educate as many people as possible about sharks and the important role they play in healthy oceans for our own good. It begins by first separating myth from fact.

DaShark said...

Wow - what was I thinking!.

So this is actually Research and the whole stupidity, a Conservation Project!

Whatever - right?
But tell 'ya what - you get an A+ for outright Chutzpah!

Anonymous said...

Please dont anybody delude yourselves that this is research. It is not by any means. As Mike said, we all knew the outcome before the show was even aired. i.e. no one got attacked and it proved nothing. scientists go to great and painful lengths to develop experiments that include controls, and answer useful valid questions. I find it insulting that you even call this scientific research. It is an excuse to show death defying diving with tiger sharks...and thats about it