Friday, November 20, 2009

100 Million Sharks - The Question

Editors Note: Unfortunately this blog post was the result of an online scam by a group of questionable filmmakers pushing a new film called "The Shark Con." Blog reader "Ethan" also contacted other Blue Bloggers with this film clip. He is not an actual blog reader but part of the effort to get free promotion for the film.

The premise of the film is to feature a few marginal and discredited anti shark people in a documentary to enrage the shark conservation movement so people will buy your film. In essence "manufacturing dissent" to sell a film.

This blog does not buy into callous attempts to promote and sell manufactured shark conservation films. We're in the business of real and lasting conservation change. If you want manufactured eco dissent there's always Whale Wars on Animal Planet, and if we say so, they do a much better job.

Original Post

Thanks to blog reader Ethan for sending this in. The conservation question of 100 million sharks killed each year is a lingering one. The number 100 million appeared at least five years ago and is taken for granted as the defacto number of dead shark each and every year.

This number is the backbone to the entire shark conservation movement - 100 million.

But what if science does not back up the numbers?

What if only 25 million sharks are killed each year?

Some have questioned the actual number, others are now making videos:

4 comments:

WhySharksMatter said...

The high-end of the scientific estimate I've seen is 73 million, and the low is 26.

Ethan said...

So does this mean the shark conservation movement is fueled by untruths and isn't deserveth of the attention it gets? I guess I'm confused with what to think now?

Shark Diver said...

Almost every conservation effort is fueled in some way by wonky data, or misread observations.

That is to be expected with increasingly diminished conservation budgets.

Does that mean the conservation movement uses "Oracle Bones" to define action, no.

100 million is a nice round number to get the public to chew on and react to.

I agree that the number is suspect and am guilty of using it as well.

I assumed that someone had that number pegged to hard data, especially when you see major NGO's using it.

It is a case of group think.

I have also had quite a few conversations with folks about it, and some of those folks have challenged that number:

http://www.luketipple.com/journal/?p=178

Are sharks in trouble?

Undoubtedly.

Can I do something about it? Yes.

www.sharkfreemarinas.com

www.guadalupefund.org

As the CEO of SharkDiver.com I make a living with these animals, as such I feel I am honor bound to help them - and I do.

I got a call this week from someone who suggested that I do not post the whole 100 million debate, that we should let it remain.

I disagree.

I have watched the conservation movement, including the shark movement, get hijacked from within by an army of hysterical well meaning loons, we call them the "Shark Messiahs."

No clue, no data, and a lot of noise.

They feel that making statements like "If we kill sharks there will be no more oxygen left to breathe" will help shark conservation.

It does not. It just makes the entire movement look like school kids on their first field trip to a big city.

The messaging of these group gets picked up by the wider public who want to help and we end up with psudo science factoids like that whopper as science fact.

I think we should really look at the 100 million number and do a little conservation soul searching.

It is high time for a realignment of the entire conservation movement as we know it. At the ripe old age of 40 years with a new media to contend with what has worked in the past does not work today, and unless we look at ourselves critically we cannot adapt to the changes that have happened and will continue to happen.

Thus endeth this Sunday Sermon;)

Shark Diver said...

To "Ethan"

Seriously. This blog is not a place to back end peddle your quasi controversial film garbage.

Try Google Ad Words.

Scamming the other Blue Bloggers was also Grade A Bullshit.

Fortunately in 24hrs we all got the same emails and we have figured you and this scam out.

When so many people are spending their lives to help sharks, you self serve up this crap for a few centavos and perhaps a moment of fame.

A tad bit pathetic doncha think?