Saturday, January 07, 2012

Tu quoque Wikipedia?

From Wikipedia's Shark fin soup article, and I cite.

However, research has shown that the vast majority of shark species are gaining in population and not endangered;
CITES lists only 3 out of 400 species as needing protection.[8] Furthermore, shark finning contributes to a small proportion of sharks caught worldwide; most sharks are caught in European nations as bycatch, for sport, or for their meat. As a result, the movement against shark fins have been variously described as misled, reliant on populist rhetoric, or Sinophobic. [9]

Wow wow wow!!!
Yes the bad guys are fighting back!
Wikipedia is what I would consider a respected mainstream resource, and finding anti-Shark-conservation statements there is certainly alarming and very much an indicator that the Shark fin industry is feeling threatened and fighting back, and crafty to boot.
Does anybody know an editor there?

The above assertion is basically verbatim from an article in the Straight Times - you can find it here, together with comments by Shark advocates. It is of course total BS as CITES is certainly NOT a good indicator for whether a Shark is endangered.

The correct resource is of course the Red List.
There, several Sharks are listed as Threatened with Extinction, meaning either Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable.
Check it out - click for detail.

But most are not!
Out of approx. 400 species, I read that there are currently 41 sharks listed as vulnerable, 12 as endangered, and 15 as critically endangered (IUCN, 2011).
Yes many are Near Threatened (= not quite yet threatened) and it is important to invoke the precautionary principle - but then, let's do that and by doing so, we can also cover those Sharks that are Data Deficient and Not Evaluated!

And, the answer to Shark bycatch is not to keep the fins - it is to adopt bycatch mitigation measures that incidentally increase the number of target fish caught! And since the vast majority of by-caught Sharks are landed alive and would most certainly survive, the correct measure is to demand that they be released! To allow for the retention of bycatch and for the sale of the fins will simply mean that those live Sharks will be killed, and further encourage the targeted fishery for Sharks by the Tuna fleets, something that is already very much on the increase!
Details here!

Long story short?
Let's be vigilant because the bad guys are fighting back!
And, let's tell it as it is and not make things up!


OfficetoOcean said...

Anybody can edit Wikipedia articles, you need to register for an account but it's pretty easy if I remember correctly, I even did it myself once when I added myself to a list of the most famous people to come from Manchester for a joke about 5 years ago...Anyway, I digress, it can be done though.

Also, if they're feeling threatened and feel the need to fight back, that can only be a sign that good things are happening :)

OfficetoOcean said...

They’re quick I'll give them that! I changed it, checked itand it had indeed changed but in the space of a couple of minutes they’ve changed it back! It can be done more long term but would need somebody more technologically au fais who has done it before as it needs coding for citations etc .

I changed it to include what we both know to be true without making wild claims, “it is estimated that up to a third of shark species are listed as vulnerable to endangered...” stuff like that but a change is gonna need to be done by someone who really knows what they’re doing in regards to Wikipedia