Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shark Defenders - The Pharmaceutical Defense?

"Treat the symptoms not the problem".

This is the heart of a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry, treating the symptoms of a problem one pill at a time. Have heartburn? Take meds at $6.00 per pill to slow down your acid reflux - instead of loosing weight and modifying your diet.

What does this post have to do with sharks?

Recently an article came out about shark defense technologies. This is nothing new. For years humans have been trying to find ways to stop shark and human interactions, from chemical studies, to sound waves and rare earth magnets. Our company was involved in a week long study with sound waves and big sharks.

Meanwhile, humans occasionally get attacked and killed at sites that, if we dug a little deeper, the data might show were avoidable.

From storm drained waters, to seal haul outs and seasonal migrations, we know where sharks are and most often we know when not to be in the waters. It is unfortunate that few local governments have the will power or the direction to modify human behavior first. Rare earth magnets, chemical bombs, shark nets are not a solution and only treat a symptom.

On a side note the application for rare earth magnets in gill netting, or chemically impregnated anti shark fishing gear is interesting science and should continue.

Let's re-think the Pharmaceutical Defense for sharks and look at a tiered system of anti shark protocols that start first with swimmers and surfers out of the water. It's a bold idea.

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