Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sharks and the Global Supply of Oxygen?

Dwindling sharks = no oxygen, the quote that will not go away
It started as a throwaway conservation quote a few years ago.

Completely devoid of any facts, empirical data, or even common sense, it has since snowballed into shark conservations most enduring media quote.

Much to the chagrin of serious shark conservation folks who would rather it go away - forever.

We're talking about the great non debate of Sharks and Oxygen, you know the one:

"If we lose the worlds sharks, we will run out of oxygen!"

The phrase was first uttered in it's most simplistic form back in 2008 during the promotion of the film Sharkwater (go to timeline 3.13). It has since taken on a life of it's own among those who trade in rumor, hysteria, and Facebook tribal gatherings where facts, common sense, and the twisted logic of gasbagging conservation statements are rarely considered.

But consider them we must, because the playing field for shark conservation has changed dramatically since the early days of 2008 and now we have an actual movement on hand, one that is being eyed at by big fishing interests and politicians.

It's a conservation nexus where words matter and facts even more so.

I would like to propose that we do away with or retire this poor excuse for a media quote:

"If we lose the worlds sharks, we will run out of oxygen!" 

Perhaps to be replaced with something a bit more tidy?

Sadly, the gulf between those who are relevant in the shark conservation movement, those who get things done vs the loony fringe who cling to outdated media quotes seemingly designed and crafted by the Paul Watson School of Media WTF!? is growing on a daily basis.

Adopting a straight and universal media narrative for sharks is not only important, it is imperative, if the movement is to stay relevant and frisky into 2013 and beyond.

Brother, you got a good shark quote?


DaShark said...

Great post - but is anybody listening?

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

Ahh, probably not friend. That would assume that they read first and the only time they read is when they see a clip on FB with a bent synopsis attached.

You know, like "20 million dogs are used to fish for sharks each year, sign this petition to save the puppies!"

Not taking into account the story is 8 years old with an image equally as old.

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

Then again you might read this craptastic expose for sharks written in 2010 and still festering like a sore on the Internet:

"It wouldn't be news if I told you our planet has its environmental problems. Sure, we're making some progress in controlling what we put into the air, put into our landfills and even put into our oceans. But we're not paying enough attention to what we are taking out of our oceans - sharks - and they're being killed at the rate of up to 73 million per year. That's million with a capital M and it refers to the number being killed only for their fins and almost entirely to make shark fin soup. You may not really care much about sharks but our oceans account for about half of the planet's oxygen supply and sharks play a key role in maintaining the health of those oceans."

By Laurel Beauprie.


Anonymous said...

So if it is a myth, please debunk it with some solid arguments

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

No that's not how this plays out. You see we just threw down the gauntlet, calling out the conservation twits who are peddling this made up tripe and trumpeting it about like the second coming of Shark Jesus.

Problem is the entire oxy-shark deal is bunk, we know it, they know it.

So let's see the facts that back up the oxy-shark argument.

Got any? No?

Thought so.

Anonymous said...

To the Shark Diver writer, thank you for posting a portion of my article on your website, even though you didn't like it. It has been picked up on websites around the world, translated into Spanish, and has been widely discussed on social networks. More recently I was honoured to receive an invitation to submit my article as testimony to the Judiciary Committee Hearings in Hawaii to help a bill get passed banning shark fin. It was my privilege to be part of the government record that changed the law in that state. Who knew a little article could make such a big splash! Laurel Beauprie

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...


If you are going in there with this statement:

"You may not really care much about sharks but our oceans account for about half of the planet's oxygen supply and sharks play a key role in maintaining the health of those oceans."


There's no science to back up sharks=oxygen argument and you will be essentially lying to lawmakers on behalf of the entire conservation movement.

As a small part of that movement we would appreciate it if you would stick to the facts and not propaganda made up to sell the film Sharkwater.

Anonymous said...

Laurie is well meaning and trying to do her bit. She just fell into the same trap we all did.

Milo said...

So this article does not really contain any info about the connection (or lack thereof) between sharks and oxygen. In fact, this article was linked to by ANOTHER article devoid of facts, on this site, with the caption of the link being "don't take our word for it". And the title of that article was something like "Debunking the oxy shark myth"; would be nice to see some actual debunking.

I even saw someone commented here regarding this, and the response was:

"No that's not how this plays out. You see we just threw down the gauntlet..."

Why bother writing *multiple* blog posts about this supposed link, when the posts contain no information? If all you want to do is affirm the consequent and call it "throwing down the gauntlet," just go to an SSCS-related FB page and have at it.

I know this post is old, but it seems like most of the items on this blog are similar. It's just plain lazy.

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

Wait, what!?

Milo here's the deal about the Oxygen Shark Myth.

If I was to say the world was flat and make a movie about it, and create an NGO and if someone came along and said "prove it" don't you think the onus would be on me?

After all I was the one with the idea of a flat earth and I was the one propagating said fallacy all over the place to further my own nefarious, dubious, and or moronic agendas then I would have to defend my ideas.

Ergo, the onus for the Oxygen Shark Myth is on those who have invented it.

Yes you are very late to the party because the idiots behind Oxy Shark threw in the towel months and months ago.

Not worth fighting for apparently.

Like those who believe in a Flat Earth.