Monday, February 18, 2019

South Africa: This and That!

Great pic, and so very Allen - click for detail.
Well well.

The really bad news first.
Irrespective of whether I respect, let alone like Craig O'Connell (spoiler: ever since I've discovered him palling with ABC4$: not much), or his fake kelp, or whatever (spoiler: even less so):
This is just simply egregious.
So there, re-posted in its entirety - and no, not at all surprised!
Very happy to see my invention, the SharkSafe barrier, being deployed in Reunion Island; however, I am a bit shocked because as the principle investigator I was unaware of this deployment. 

Although many of you already know, the original SharkSafe barrier was invented by myself while in Bimini, Bahamas during my internship at the Bimini Biological Field Station and then I brought it to South Africa and formed a collaboration to test it on large sharks during my Ph.D.-related research expeditions. In fact, I started developing the barrier in 2006 after receiving a prestigious internship for my shark deterrent barrier proposal, which I sent to the station in 2005. 

I find it quite interesting that the team from University of Stellenbosch is deploying my invention without my permission or knowledge and it is quite sad to learn about it from the Press! 
To read multiple misquotes in recent SharkSafe barrier-related media and now to read in this article that the barrier was "Developed in South Africa", it worries me that additional quotes may mislead the public about the utility and safety of the barrier - especially being that the people who have deployed this in Reunion do not have the experience or the Behavioral Science background to truly understand the barrier's functionality. I mean sharks are complex animals so to also be misquoting the barrier to be “100% effective” is not sensible and is an indication of their lack of familiarity of various SharkSafe barrier results and studies. I am the inventor and I began inventing the SharkSafe Barrier in Bimini, Bahamas in 2006.

There isn't too much more to say about this other than this is disheartening and a poor example of how collaborative conservation and Science is done. Feel free to share this post so others don't make the same mistakes I did!
And now to the great news.
Our friend Allen has just won the shark photography category of the prestigious World ShootOut - story here.
Bravo buddy, we're proud of 'ya!

PS - see here.

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