Was this image leak a set up?
Was Dr.Domeier the target of nefarious and truly dark individuals seeking to tar and feather him with public opinion?
Is Dr.Domeier completely free of blame for the current condition of Junior, a white shark with 2.6 lbs of hook left in his esophagus in 2009?
According to David Shiffman who has acquired the 1.17 second tape all of us were seeking, the answer is yes to all three questions.
After wading through this "sewage of a debate" and watching the main accusations unfold by less than credible spokespersons for the California research community, I am dead certain of a few things in regards to Junior.
1. Someone (not so intelligent) did in fact send these images of Junior out to select blogs to create some noise. Ours was one of them.
2. The intent was to make the case that the hook used to capture Junior in 2009 by Dr.Domeiers team caused this wound. A case we did not agree with. This was never about what caused this wound and our blog coverage and statements online will back that up.
The end result, no so surprisingly, is a complete and utter vindication of Dr.Domeier and Chris Fischer for the current state of Junior once the 1.17 seconds of live video came to light (congratulations to David for the acquisition). Even though this is an animal that is no longer in any kind of breeding condition, and is an animal that is seriously underweight.
The main accusation against Domeier and Chris Fischer (such as it was) was framed in absolutes when wildlife is far more nuanced than that. Cause and effect may trigger unintended consequences, all of which should have be discussed and carefully reviewed - but never was.
For the nefarious and truly dark individuals who brought this image and half-witted accusation to light, add to that moronic, I would suggest that you forget about this animal, forget any further attempts at your moral shock at this animals condition, and forget any attempts at getting Sanctuary Manager Maria Brown to change the way she conducts business within a National Marine Sanctuary.
That dog won't bark anymore.
You have fired your only shot, and missed the mark, and completely lost the moral high ground.
In fact, it is over.
The debate and discussion over Juniors current state should have been about the following:
1. Hybrid shark film and television research within a National Marine Sanctuary and the causes that lead to a very bad mistake with a white shark being hooked in the throat.
2. The continuation of said research after a tagging disaster and subsequent media gaffs, cover ups, and flat out cover-your-assery that boggled the imagination.
3. The overall current diminished condition of an animal that was hooked in the esophagus with 98% of the hook left in the esophagus in 2009.
If I sound a bit put off, the fact is, I am.
What should have been all about a protected white shark within a National Marine Sanctuary devolved into a sideshow of lies, bullshit, titanic egos, moronic assumptions, and one very big vendetta that has now backfired on those who set it loose.
For Junior, all this land based "much ado about nothing" will not help his condition and thanks to this half assed side show we'll never get any serious minded discussion about the state of this animal.
The real tragedy here is about one shark. Not pricked egos, television shows, ratings, or someones next research paper.
Is this the best we can do? Apparently so.
Mike "Da Shark" in Fiji has an excellent wrap, and yes I agree, if the identity of EcoShark1 ever comes to light you'll know we'll be writing about it.