Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Georgia Aquarium-Calling Bullshit!

Let us be the first of what will probably be many people, eco-groups, and divers to call "Bull-Shit" when we see it.

Recently, the Georgia Aquarium announced to one and all-real live scuba diving experiences and snorkeling experiences with their much coveted Whale Sharks...part two.

You see, the first set of Whale Sharks they had in captivity died mysteriously and they just Fed Ex'ed in another set a few months ago.

Look, this is not the way to run an aquarium, and the good folks in Georgia should know this. Whale Sharks are a unique and amazing shark species. While we are all for wild encounters with these critters, aquarium dives are just plain wrong.

Fact: If you cannot even keep the Whale Sharks you have alive for more than a year, then you absolutely shouldn't be charging "Scuba Yabbo's" to go dive with them.

We had a feeling that something like this was going to happen, after all this corporate aquarium is sponsored by the Home Depot, and what do they know about sharks?


Anonymous said...

Don't see a problem with it - the place has probably done more for whale sharks than any other site in the world in terms of funding and research. The aquarium is a non-profit and the money goes to a good cause. You can't touch the fish and they are already mulitple staff divers in there everyday anyway. You make it sound like Home Depot as a sponser is a bad thing? A gaint corporation that is donating money to a non-profit, that is wrong?

Shark Diver said...

Thanks for the comment. There's a school of thought that says in today's world any funding of non profits and wild animals is a good thing.

We're all for funding research and supporting the publics awareness of these critters.

Taking it to the next level and allowing divers into the water with animals that are on a "one way ticket"-you realize they never go back to the ocean?

This is where we call foul. These animals are already doing double duty and as such should be spared the additional stress of divers in the environment.

We call it like we see it and the wonderful thing about this blog is that we get those who disagree.

Thanks for your post, we'll take it and it was well written.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" makes some great points. The whale sharks that are held at the Georgia Aquarium were taken from Taiwan's fishing quota, meaning they were going to end up as food if they weren't brought to the Georgia Aquarium. Having them at the aquarium instead of on the table gives much more opportunity for research.

Endangered sea turtles are rehabilitated and released back into the wild through the Georgia Aquarium, and a manta ray rescued form shark nets in South Africa recently found a home there too.

The Georgia Aquarium wasn't even open to the public for swimming and diving when they had the trouble with the initial whale sharks, and they are extremely detailed in monitoring the swim and dive program now. Not to mention that all these aquariums have employee and volunteer divers all the time to help with maintenance and cleanliness.

Home Depot is a sponsor because founder Bernie Marcus gifted the aquarium to the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia, but many other companies also help to keep this massive operation running.

I agree there is no harm in debating the merits of these programs, just want to draw attention to or clarify some points that may have an influence.