Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Biopixel - Happy Birthday!



Huge congratulations, and best wishes to our pals Richard, Adam, Kátya, Christian and the rest of the team - may the future bring many more exciting common projects!

Godspeed and hopefully, see you soon in Fiji!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Cristina - bellissimo, brava!



For the record, I totally approve and also admire it.
And no I'm not gonna elaborate, again - but should you be interested, you can discover why in several of these blog posts.


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Do MPAs improve Climate Change Resilience?

Spoiler: they do not!

Surprised? Me not at all.
Over the years there has been a plethora of irritating scientific studies wanting to link climate change mitigation to a whole host of factors ranging from somewhat plausible like the present MPA theory to outright outlandish like the ridiculous Whale poo theory - and let's not forget the infamous Sharks and Oxy Myth that STILL reverberates in some of the stupidest Shark conservation circles!

So kudos for setting the record straight.
And in analogy to the conclusions of the paper (read them!), let me re-post what I wrote back then, slightly abridged.
Want to combat Global Warming?

Stop faffing around about irrelevant topics and work on reducing the anthropogenic carbon emissions that cause it!
Reduce your own emissions! Vote for politicians, parties and government that advocate global reductions! Educate others! Do something to enhance carbon sequestration, like we do!

In closing.
Like a broken record and Erik the Mad Hatter, let me quote myself.
The facts and numbers?
Science is in continuous flux and the data do indeed change – but until they do, the latest peer reviewed science remains the best approximation of the truth. Thankfully, there are now plenty of resources where anybody can consult the latest insights and data, meaning that those who continue to operate with inflated statistics and outlandish assertions lack any excuses and credibility whatsoever. The facts are plenty horrible as it is – so let’s please stick to those and refrain from the usual stupid inflated hyperbole!

Conservation is never happening in a vacuum - it is being used to advocate legislation that in its marine context will deprive fishermen of income and quite possibly, of their livelihoods. With that in mind, we owe it to them, but also, to ourselves not to cheat and to use misleading perceived "marketing", or whatever, but to be truthful and fact based instead.

The situation is really, really dire and there's absolutely no need whatsoever to inflate numbers and to come up with ludicrous propositions.

And then there's this.
Assume we succeed in having laws enacted based on misleading data - what would prevent the legislators from repealing them once we got caught out?
Think we would ever get a second chance after such a fiasco?
And there you go.
Paper here, synopsis here.


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Silkies vs Whale Shark!

Source - click for detail!

Yes it's very much belated - but still!
Story here - enjoy!

Flying Mobulas!

Click for detail - source below!

Watch - awesome stuff!

And here's the BBC - unmatched as always!


Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Oslob - bloody Quagmire!

Source - click for detail!

The q being, am I gonna wade straight in?

You betcha I will! :)
But fear not - this is way too complex, inconclusive and also, way too agenda-driven for me to take a strong position and start unleashing.

Just this.
Alessandro Ponzo (che tutt'ora rima con stronzo) and his cohort of Shark huggers are still at it in trying to bring down the Whale Shark feeding industry in Oslob, e.g. here. My pal Mark Meekan and creepy Judi are pushing against it which is essentially a good thing. 
And there sure is a lot of controversy as per eg this thread.

Methinks that the truth lays somewhere in the middle.
Despite of their best efforts, the detractors have so far failed to come up with clear evidence that the Sharks are being harmed, period - and in that respect, invoking the precautionary principle and asking for the reversal of the burden of proof is just unacceptable, especially considering the consequences for the local community.

But that's obviously not the whole story.
The documented non-adherence to the protocols is a cause for concern and needs to be addressed - this especially considering that the financial success of Oslob is already spawning copycat procedures = feeding in other juvenile Whale Shark aggregations across the Coral Triangle. The massive demand for these interactions can easily lead to unchecked development and if so, it is certain to have deleterious consequences if not managed properly - so once again, people get your fucking act together!

And that's it.
Once again it's probably not the WHAT but the HOW - and whereas for now the what appears unproblematic, the how needs urgent attention!

In diesem Sinne.
Let's go Shark diving - responsibly!

Sunday, March 03, 2019

World Wildlife Day 2019!

Lots of Elasmos - I like it! :) Click for detail!

And I cite.
The World Wildlife Day 2019 aligns closely with the Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life below water, which focuses on marine species, and will be an opportunity to highlight the critical issues and values of marine wildlife to our everyday lives. The occasion will also celebrate successful initiatives to conserve and sustainably manage these species, and to scale up support for future initiatives.

In line with the UN General Assembly Resolution proclaiming World Wildlife Day, the CITES Secretariat and UNDP call on all the Member States and organizations of the United Nations system and other global, regional and sub-regional organizations, non-governmental organizations and all interested individuals, to: 
  • observe and raise awareness of the theme for World Wildlife Day 2019; 
  • associate the celebrations with major national and international conservation events; 
  • build collaborative partnerships; 
  • organize campaigns to support the conservation and sustainable use of marine living resources and their products using targeted strategies in order to influence consumer behavior; and 
  • make use of the World Wildlife Day logo as widely as possible.
So there.
Supporting the conservation and sustainable use of marine living resources is what we do every single day - and you now have the opportunity to assist in that endeavor.
And right now there's even a special promotion

With that in mind, please, Adopt Your Shark Now!
Thank you.