Saturday, February 9, 2013

S.A Shark Nets - Wagging The Conservation Dog - And Wrong Sounding Muppets

Pizza box tops and THAT'S conservation!
Word on the street is that Shark Angels, those rough riding take-no-prissiness step children of Sea Shepherd, have managed to get the shark nets in  Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area taken down.

Or at least they will come down sometime in the future, and when they do you can thank the Shark Angels for it:

"Thanks in part to the hard work from several shark angels for almost four years, KZN Sharks Board has buckled under the pressure and has recommended the removal of four gill nets in the Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area within the next year. This includes nets at both Scottburgh and Park Rynie and is a monumental step towards the abandonment of shark nets throughout the country – and hopefully at some point, the globe. The announcement, which came at the quarterly meeting of the Aliwal Shoal Forum in KwaZulu Natal, was made quietly and without fanfare - because it signals the weakening of the Sharks Board and constitutes an incredible triumph for those working hard to protect sharks, who have been struggling to achieve the removal of the nets since 2008." 

Like many out there in the conservation space this news seems a bit odd to wrong sounding Muppets.

But in fairness, let's all celebrate this news. Four nets, a victory, and Julie Anderson's redemption in the shark conservation space for years of mismanaged stage craft masquerading as an attempt to sell a Reality TV show...wait a we see it.

Could be the coffee kicking in but, stay with us here, if one wanted for the sake of argument to sell a Reality TV show about an org that saved sharks, and one happened to be peddling said show to various networks (we know because we walked into said networks weeks after), wouldn't one also want to post victory notices on websites even though said victories were:

"made quietly" and "without fanfare" and "recommended" and "within the next year"

Yup. Check that box. It's known as Wagging The Conservation Dog a distinct media specialty of Sea Shepherd and it's media clones. You take an issue, front run it to assume some sort of conservation victory, spread the story far and wide and sit back and collect donor dollars...or eye balls from networks.

Kinda of like wrong sounding Muppets and ENRON. In the conservation space the rules say you post actual victories, you celebrate actual change, you give thanks to folks who work hard for animals.

The rest is just media nonsense and for the sharks in Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area who will be killed in nets this week, next week, and the week after, the Shark Angels "victory" is as short lived as the animals that keep dying in them.

Mike's Blog - The Issue Ongoing.

Now for some amusement:

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