Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Ocean is no Place for the Ignorant, the Arrogant and the Craven!


Sez the Grand Mufti of conservation BS!

That would be the same dude who tells his naive volunteers that they must be prepared to risk their life, or whatever, when they go molesting the Japs in Antarctica - only to then do a strategic runner when confronted with the prospect of having to proudly justify his heroic actions in court!

Anyway, have you seen this shit?
A prominent Shark conservation advocate writes, I have no words to describe this piece.
Not me - so there.
  • Shark attacks are on the rise.

    Maybe - but not last year.
    Yes the long term trend may well be ascending - but if one factors in population growth and the ever increasing number of aquatic recreationists = potential victims, the overall, already infinitesimally small per-capita risk of Shark strikes may even be decreasing!
    This however with caveats, see below!
  • To start with, we are diminishing bio-diversity in the ocean. Overfishing has removed 90% of the fish from the sea since 1950. Every single commercial fishery is in a state of decline. This is not just bad news for humans who eat fish, but it is very bad news for sharks, orcas, whales, seals and dolphins who have no choice but to eat fish. In other words, starvation is a very big motivation for opportunistic attacks.

    What a load of horseshit - predator/prey cycles anybody?
    And are we only decimating the prey - or is it not rather so that we have disproportionally targeted predator populations among which the Sharks?
    The truth is that there is not one single documented case of more Shark attacks occurring because of overfishing!

    In fact, when it comes to some GWS populations, we may be experiencing the exact opposite!
    Having protected the Pinnipeds, we are now seeing more GWS in California, the East Coast of the USA and also Western Australia! And there are authoritative voices claiming that the Tiger Shark population of Hawaii may be increasing owing to the protection of Sea Turtles!

  • And not every commercial fishery is declining!
    Yes most if not all are severely depleted - but owing to good management, several are rebounding, especially in the US!
  • Halal demands for live animals?

    Hundreds of thousands of cattle and sheep producing dozens of bodies and thousands of tons of animal feces and urine are the cause of n=3 Shark strikes in 2011, n=2 in 2013 and n=1 in 2014? By GWS and not the ubiquitous scavenging Tigers?

    The fact is that there are more water users going to ever more remote locations and extending their season due to better gear. And at the same time, after decades of protection, there are more large GWS and there is more of their coastal Pinninped prey. You draw the inevitable conclusions.
    And anyway, considering the infinitesimally small risk of those Shark strikes, the main factor here is plain and simple chance and bad luck - nothing more nothing less!
  • Shark drumlines, meant to discourage sharks from approaching beaches, actually create another attraction. Sharks and other creatures become snared and entrapped and they die; this in turn attracts more sharks, bringing them within close proximity to the beaches.

    I see. Snared and entrapped. In a drumline.
    And anyway - are there more or less Shark strikes on beaches with drumlines?
  • Climate change, ocean acidification and pollution are other factors affecting the migration patterns of sharks.

    Oh yes oh yes - especially acidification!
    Evidence = a big fat zero, especially the implicit assertion that those factors would attract Sharks to the coasts where they would then strike people.
Long story short?
This is everything I despise about Fat Paul's breathy brand of fake conservation messaging.
As usual, it is nothing but a sequence of moronic and misleading pulled-from-the-arse factoids that is then picked up and parroted as the latest truth by his googly-eyed devotees - remember the Earth Doctor?
What pisses me off is that as a result, the movement is then perceived as being dominated by extremists and idiots, once again making it that much more difficult to achieve tangible results on the ground.
Remember this?
Kirsten E
Popularizing science is a very difficult thing to achieve. It is worth considering that misinformation becomes widespread because it appeals to the general public’s sense of Right and Wrong, where soundbites with some tenuous connection to a factual foundation fit firmly into a black and white worldview. It is not surprising that sympathetic individuals fall prey to exaggerated claims, because they lack the background, ability, or dedication to look deeper.
I am guilty of being a bit of a loudmouth when discussing shark conservation, but as it is my intended career path I am always looking to further my knowledge. The difficulty is that most people’s introduction to these issues is not from researchers, but from organizations like Sea Shepherd or documentaries like Sharkwater, who seek a reactionary, emotional impact to make a point. Once that impression is made, it is very hard to scale it back to a more realistic discussion, perhaps because it lacks the same shock factor that appeals to people’s indignation in the first place.
It’s ironic that conservationists can be their own worst enemy.
And the Huffington Post?
More and more, it looks like there is really zero editorial integrity but that instead, they will post just about anything by anybody, with not an iota of even the most cursory fact checking.

Not impressed!

PS - David is on it as always! :)
PS2 - it now says, This post has been edited to change factual errors contained in the first version.
Right. E.g where it now basically states that having removed 90% of the big predatory Fishes (= including Sharks!), the remaining 10% of Sharks are hungrier and are thus striking people.


Shark Diver said...

You beat me to it again. Great blog as usual!

Lindsay L. Graff said...

Great blog about breathy Paul and his usual smorgasbord of hot air.

Hamishmacdiver said...

Bravo DaShark! When Watson speaks, I hear a whoopee cushion. When he writes or is quoted, I am frustrated and dumbfounded as if witnessing graffiti daubed around a cherished vista. I gladly await sightings of magnificent sharks in landlocked Leeds though Shark Diver?

DaShark said...

There's only one Hamish I know who would resort to that choice of words - how are you buddy? :)

Anonymous said...

Your nose must be two miles long for all the half truths and lies you told here.