Monday, March 23, 2009

Sea Shepherd - Your Money Wasted at Auction

As the tragic consequences of a failed eco strategy engulfs Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Australia - with a recent Federal Police boarding and seizure of all material relating to the reality television show Whale Wars - and in Canada with the $800,000 vessel Farley Mowat going to auction, perhaps it is time to rethink the "direct action" eco movement.

The policy of "direct action" fails when direct action fails to adapt.

For many months we have openly decried the near useless tactics of titular head Paul Watson whose messianic vision of saving the planet has delivered a slew of faked press releases, a faked assassination attempt, dead whales, dead seals, and a vessel now up for auction.

The world has changed around Mr.Watson, the media has changed for that matter as well. What worked in the 1970's has all been abandoned by the rest of the NGO community as they have adapted to a changing world. Meanwhile SSCS continue on a path that has now lost its donors close to $2 million dollars this month as the Farley Mowat goes up for auction.

The change that is needed with direct action campaigns must come from the next generation.

Clearly Paul Watson, who decries corporations and greed, is willing to sell his soul to Animal Planet and Whale Wars. While the horrors of whaling take a back seat to a quick cut and edit, we are transported from a dead and dying whale, into a new living room set and an actor selling us pharmaceuticals, advertisements from Chevron, or chemical maker Dow.

Where does Watson and SSCS think the reality television Whale Wars is anything but an eco org being callously used by big media and big corporations? Or has Watson been so co-opted that he fails to even see it?

Watson has run SSCS into the ground. He was come up against an unyielding wall, and his unyielding program is to bash SSCS against the wall and continue to bash SSCS against the wall until the org shatters. Step one, the loss of the Farley Mowat to a back drop of a continued seal slaughter. This is a tragedy that could have been avoided.

The next generation needs to be savvy, they need to foster new media. Most critically they need to stand alone, clear of one man and his policies, whose time has come to an end. The future of conservation is in the hands of everyone.

Send your money to where it counts and not to an eco org that trades your dollars for advertising on prime time and spectacular financial losses at the end of an auctioneers gavel.

Captains Log - "Not feeling the best"

Captains Log

"After dinner tonight I noticed I was not feeling myself. Must have been that Salmon in the Green Curry Sauce. Got a lot of compliments on the all new dress whites I am wearing though."

Shark Fins - A Question of Poverty

We all know the financial incentive for sharks fin is hard to pass up. We also know an estimated 60-100 million sharks are taken each and every year...but is anyone addressing the 300lb elephant in the room, regional poverty?

Last week Why Shark Matter blog touched on the topic of subsistance fishing and how shark fins are changing the game. Too often people dismiss the issue of regional poverty and sniff at the idea of poor fishermen.

Without effective and long lasting financial re-incentives, these poor fishermen will continue to kill sharks for fins in a bloody and ongoing race for quick cash.

We're glad to see someone talking about it. While you're there watch the video.

YellowPages.com - Shark Media 101

One of the highest trafficked web sites on the Internet, besides porn, is the good old Yellow Pages Online.

So, how do you get your company on the homepage of this website and why would you want to?

For the answers to those questions and more, sign up for our six week course in Commercial Shark Diving Marketing 101.

Or if you are a friend of Shark Diver all you need to do is ask. We're pretty good at this stuff and yes, we always share.

Kudos to Jenna Rose Robbins for the set up!

Cookie Cutter Shark Attack!

One of the strangest man vs shark encounters took place on a recent moonless night in the Alenuihaha Channel, Hawaii.

Swimmer Mike Spalding was attacked by this unlikely shark, known for taking "quarter sized bites" from it's victims and ending his long distance swim attempt.

This critter is known as the Cookie Cutter Shark and no this blog post is not an Underwater Onion.

As a shark diving operators we see many Elephant Seals at Isla Guadalupe with round bites all over them - but as far as we know humans are rarely ever on the menu.

Kudos to shark attack blog (yes one exists) Swim at Your Own Risk for the in depth coverage.

Baby Makos and Blues - Post 1000!

A little over one year ago a friend suggested that I start a blog on shark diving. At the time I said "Another blog? waddaya, new?". Now, a thousand posts later and 15k readers a month, we are Underwater Thrills:Swimming With Sharks

What began as a lark, seriously I had no idea where this was going, has become the accidental industry blog with a rabid following and rightfully so. Until we started talking about our 200 million dollar industry in depth, no one had been talking about our industry in terms of it's international scope and regional conservation efforts. The idea of being interconnected and how media effects us all are standard themes here.

So - here's to 1000 posts, not all were as pithy as I had hoped, and some downright silly. For the most part I think we have hit our mark here at UT. Looking forward to another 1000 posts in the near future because as we have come to discover, there really is a lot to blog about:



Cheers,
Patric Douglas CEO
www.sharkdiver.com
www.sharkdivers.com
www.sharkdivers.blogspot.com
www.guadalupefund.org
www.islandofthegreatwhiteshark.com
415.235.9410