Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Jessica Perry-Targaryen, Gobbly Gook from a Biologist?

Hear no oxygen, see no sharks, speak no empirical data
Congratulations to Facebook phenom Jessica Perry-Targaryen, de facto champion of the discredited Oxy Shark Myth.

You know the one. It can be found being recited by Facebook hysteria brokers who have little else to do with their time but quote half-witted conservation gobbly gook wherever they can.

Usually with a "like" button attached to some sort of petition.

"If we kill all the worlds sharks we will run out of oxygen to breathe".

According to Jessica Perry-Targaryen her entire justification for embracing the Oxy Shark Myth, much like those who fervently embrace Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monsters, comes from her made up science premise, and we quote with our own questions attached:

"One need merely apply syllogism to solve this argument:

Major premise: Phytoplankton supply Oxygen to Earth.

Minor premise: Sharks keep Phytoplankton in check.
(cite source(s) here)
Conclusion: All Sharks supply Oxygen to Earth. 
(bunk conclusion)

The model:

Major premise: All P affect O.

Minor premise: All S affect P.
(except freshwater bodies where sharks are not present?)

Conclusion: All S affect O."

We'll let actual scientists ponder the finding of Jessica Perry-Targaryen, who is fostering her own unreasonable line of reasoning with the same passion that Flat Earth People try and explain their two dimensional world to the rest of us.

In the meantime, for the rest of us, facts do matter in conservation.

Our world becomes a better place when you can bring others to understand why conservation matters without resorting to bent shark prophecies that have no basis in facts.

To Jessica and the last few hold outs of the Oxy Shark Myth, look around you.

Even the myths first speakers, the few websites that once touted the myth, and the myths old champions are all walking back from it. It's a sea change. One based in the realization that some myths are better off dying on the vine from whence they came.

Oh, and Da Shark just waded in, yikes!

Petition - Save the Black and White Sharks!

Mark Harding vs Irrational Exuberance

Latest Facebook petition, "Save the B and W Sharks!"
We keep an eye on Mark Hardings conservation musings, his on target posts, and his homespun war on Irrational Exuberance and we like what we see.

Mark is one of a few within the industry of those who make a living with the ocean willing to say what he thinks. Swimming upstream against a tide of Facebook Conservation Hysteria where actual conservation has been diluted down to a few images (regardless of their pedigree and age) and a few petitions filled with factoids, whole cloth imagineering, and no end of self serving racist undertones.

Marks conservation posts seek the calmer freestone waters of complex thought and actual hard facts (now with 20% more links), where he can quietly sow the seeds and lay a foundation of thoughtful conversation and strategy.

Case in point, Latin American fisheries loopholes. Read this post.

Shark conservation is an evolving discussion and ongoing global strategy. There are no "wins", there is no "end" and for the foreseeable future only a series of branching conservation paths to choose from if we want to actually put a dent in the global decline of sharks.

To celebrate the Maldives Shark Sanctuary as "finished and done" is to walk away from the glaring Achilles Heel of the entire Sanctuary Movement. Governments change, and the the new boss, when it comes to conservation, is not always the same as the old boss.

Fingers crossed for the Maldives this year and next.

Read Marks blog, and bookmark it. When Mark decides to speak on an issue, you know he's thinking of the next generation who will one day choose to perhaps follow his lead. To be fearless about saying what they think, always swimming upstream, and adding their own DNA to thoughtful conversation and strategy.

We can use a few more like this.

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