09 October, 2008

A Provoking Comment

Stephanie recently posted a comment on the Diaries following the posting of "Sharks with an Image Problem".
Her comment read:
"That's all well and good but Lawrence Groth's company Shark Diving International was also behind U.K's Endemol production Killer Shark Live three years ago.I am not sure how his shark diving organization gets held up as one of those who are changing the perception of sharks. It starts by NOT allowing and enabling crews like that with show titles designed to perpetuate the myth of sharks as killing machines."
I thought this comment deserved more attention and shared it with Michael Aw, Director of Ocean Geographic, whom had actually been a guest aboard one of the boats of Shark Diving International while taking pictures aimed at changing the public opinion on Great Whites (GW).
Michael has kindly and promptly provided some comment which I post below:
"Dear Marco,

I am not aware of Endemol scam until the post of Stephanie; well done, we need more ‘watch dogs’ to keep us on toes. Absolutely appalled by the news media, reality programs like Survivor, Discover Channel which continue to portray sharks as senseless killers. In truth, sharks are really clever, capable of learning and they do learn quickly. I can only report my observation – unlike other operations I have observed elsewhere whereby GW are wrangled to surface for that gruesome jaws agape image to satisfy egoistic photographers which feel the constant need to wank, I did not see such operation with my trip with Lawrence on the Solmar V.

I know that many operators spend time teasing GWsenseless with some dead fishes and wrangled them to the surface for the blood thirsty shot to for their photographer and video client! It is not a natural behavior of sharks but rather a human induced one. It is silly for media to promote conservation of sharks and at the same time portrayed sharks as fearsome beasts of the ocean.
We need to break this hypnotic hold of the ill-informed mind perhaps, jarring awareness of the foolish and barbaric image of sharks created by an ill educated generation. Our campaign must appeal to the compassionate nature in the same human being who ignorantly believes the lies about shark. Absolutely agree with Stephanie that responsible shark dive operators must REFUSE the custom of photographers, media that comes on shoot that perpetuate the distorted image of sharks.

Many thanks to both Stephanie and Michael for their terrific input

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