Monday, March 11, 2013

Sean van Sommeran, full of sound and fury, signifying his own self-importance?

How can a tag be in two different places over the span of a decade?
Update: As expected a week has passed and Sean van Sommeran Executive Director of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation has failed to provide any evidence of his self proclaimed and very public "discovery" of last April.

As expressed by members of the California white shark shark research community this week:

"PSRF's sole obligation was to provide scientific proof of the PSRF ws tag in the Sea of Cortez - from day one."

Instead we have seen reams of Internet bluster, accusations of secret Corporate/NGO cabals and no more than a few somewhat grade school accusations leveled at those who would question what is now understood as one of the most outrageous claims ever perpetrated on the California white shark research community.

The final question remains. Why? Unfortunately getting any coherent answers to the Big Shark Research Lie will probably be as hard to come by as getting any tangible proof that anyone involved in the original story ever existed, aside from one man sitting at his desk in Santa Cruz back in April of last year with a very big imagination.

Now on to our original blog post:

Sean van Sommeran, full of sound and fury, signifying his own self-importance?

We're almost loath to blog about this guy, as one might loath the prospect of researching the life habits of parasitic tapeworms that inhabit the bottom of port-o-potties at construction sites in San Diego.

Yeah, that kind of loathing.

But for the *fact* (and when blogging about SvS you use that word lightly) that the white shark research world was rocked by the assertion of a tag discovered on a shark in the Sea of Cortez back in April of last year - we would not be writing right now.

SvS claimed in the news, and on Facebook, and in emails, and on the phone, and via carrier pigeon and even to the homeless in Santa Cruz when they would listen, that the mailbox he calls the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation had in fact tagged a simply huge white shark that wound up in the Sea of Cortez providing - for the first time - direct evidence of adult sharks moving from California into the Sea of Cortez.

He was adamant about it and he had proof, an image of a tag.

Then the story took a weird turn, according to the PSRF a rival researcher stole the "tag evidence" (as witnessed by an actual image attributed to the shark) and the PSRF was robbed of one of the most exciting research stories of the year. A new page on white shark migratory patterns was wiped out and the world was a darker place because of, "well heeled corporate researchers who are jealous of PSRF success."

The whole Steve Zissou vibe.

The image was the key and as we pointed out back in April nothing about the image made any sense at all, never mind the story, or the person peddling the story, or the fall out from the story within the California white shark research community - then the same image appeared last week on Facebook attributed to another GWS tagging event in California by the PSRF in 2001,wait, what?

The ENTIRE MX tag story was...wait for probably know where this is going... a lie.

A huge, pulled out of your steaming arse...lie.

A malformed and twisted...lie.

A moronic half baked fib, nurtured to a white lie, and then kicked into a caldron of hate and misinformation and left to the desert like elements of Mexico...lie.

A childlike and somewhat stupid, "I didn't put my finger in the pie momma" but with far reaching adult implications...lie

We could go on, but our sustainably harvested, shade grown, $40/lb morning coffee is growing colder by the minute and frankly, like the tapeworms, once you get past the "ick factor" this entire story is about as interesting as the bottom of those port-o-potties we mentioned earlier.

Oh, and LIAR!

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at
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