Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dear Shark Conservationists, Lay Off Rosie O'Donnell

After 25 days being offline enjoying the joys of random travel from Panama to Cuba I finally powered up my iPhone at the San Francisco airport to get caught up on some shark news.

2012 will be a pivotal year for new initiatives and I was keen to see how many of the groundbreaking efforts of 2011 were shaping up for the new year.

What I soon discovered was a group of rabid and misguided shark conservation loons going after talk show host and comedian Rosie O'Donnell over pictures of her taken three years ago with a dead shark.

Three years ago, really? And you call this conservation? So much for 2012.

Rosie caught the sharks under the tutelage of Mark the Shark a well known Florida based shark fisherman who likes to goad the shark conservation world, and a few special individuals in particular, into foaming at the mouth indignation over dead sharks on docks.

The mainstream media is having a field day with this non story and Facebook, sadly, is in its usual righteous fury over images that have nothing to do with the Rosie O'Donnell of today, or even the news that as of 2012 Tiger sharks and Great Hammerheads are now protected in Florida waters.

Lead by You Tube video sensation, "Mr. How To Speak Australian" Erik Brush, an overly passionate under-informed shark gadfly who, when not on You Tube with his starkly creepy basement videos, can be found hawking his second rate book about the end of the planet. The rabid shark conservation community is joyously shooting themselves and the shark community at large in the foot.

It is time to stop.

Like a bad smell emanating from the sewers of a slow news cycle, shark conservationists are latching on to this ridiculous story with the ferocity of a ragged street dog in Latin America who has found something rancid in the gutter to eat.

Images from three years ago do not make for a news story and I am pretty sure that the serious shark conservation world could do without side shows like this one that make Sea Shepherd and Paul Watson's brand of "make it up as we go along" media output look like University of California - Berkeley's School of Journalism.

We can do a lot better in 2012. We have to, because this was a piss poor way to start the year.

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