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Anti-Shark Fin agencies fudge with bad stats?


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#1 Drew

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:05 PM

Shelley Clarke finally rebutted the VERY liberal use of her figures from the 2000 study on the shark fin trade. NGOs like Wild Aid and Shark Savers have taken hyperbolic license to her stats, some rounding up to 100million sharks, when her figures are nearer 38 million. I suppose in marketing, some hyperbole is allowed to get the point across. However, for legislative work and the educated population of people who know what BS is, it's damaging to the cause. With bad stats and emotional outcry, most of the agencies hurt the cause of people trying to make change in legislation to protect sharks (or anything else for that matter!)!

http://www.seaweb.or...hellyClarke.php

Do you think this sort of bad stats actually hurt the support from people who understand basic statistics? I know I personally am reticent in publicly fully supporting these agencies because of things like that.

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#2 johnspierce

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:50 AM

I *do* think this will hurt the cause. When science is concerned, no hyperbole should be allowed at all. Exaggeration of any environmental impact will result in people ignoring the overall effect.

I understand marketing people and politicians will often exaggerate to sell their point of view, but science needs to remain pure in its dissemination of data. This is one of my big soap box issues. For example, the giant trash island in the Pacific. It's huge. It's a giant problem. We are trashing the earth. BUT, it is NOT as big as the state of Texas, people who keep saying that are damaging the cause of conservation. There is no reason to exaggerate legitimate issues.

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#3 RickM

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:41 AM

I agree.

You may think that some exaggeration will help to sell your point, but in fact you are doing the opposite. Once you lose credibility it reflects on your whole cause. If people find you are making up statistics, they aren't going to only doubt your math; they are going to question the whole legitimacy of your entire effort.

#4 xariatay

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:40 PM

I have no answer to that - me no scientist, don't even have a degree... But at Shark Savers, we have & are amending the data we are using... Do remember that Dr Clarke made that study 12years ago & the shark fins in the HK trade are mostly from 14 species of sharks... If anyone is keen, can actually download the FishStat Plus - Universal software for fishery statistical time series from http://www.fao.org/f...are/fishstat/en Maybe choose the data-set: Fisheries Commodities Production and Trade? (but it doesn't give the breakdown of species of sharks etc)

Today, I am just interested to share this awful story happening in Lombok, Indonesia... Dolphins die for Soup http://www.paulhilto...hp/field-notes/
Tuesday February 28, 2012
"Presently there is an on-going battle between the shark fin industry and conservationists. Below is another dark side to the shark fin trade that we rarely see.

Despite legislation that prohibits the killing of dolphins and whales, small cetaceans are still caught in Lombok, Indonesia. Though some are eaten, many of these dolphins end up back on the hook, as bait for more lucrative targets."
"Back at the market I continued watching the longliners unload. At one point the whole beach around me was covered in thresher sharks. Later a full-grown spinner dolphin, followed by a juvenile, was dumped in the water. But then, to make things worse, a badly decomposed pilot whale joined the carcasses. The boats had no gill nets onboard and as dolphins rarely get caught on longline hooks, preferring to take free schooling fish as food, itís likely that these animals had been specifically targeted, killed by harpoon or homemade explosives. We visited the market 10 times from early in 2010 and in late 2011 and dolphins were landed 70 percent of the time."
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#5 Drew

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:09 PM

Xaria, the dolphin hunting issue has been around in Indonesia for a while. Have Paul send those pictures in RAW form to Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in JKT, cc to JKT Post and Tempo. If it is proven to be taken on Lombok within the period, and it is reported as such, the MMAF will more likely act.
And the point is that the sharks are now being landed whole in Paul's report, which again makes the whole ban issue more problematic as it removes the cruel act (which I felt should never have been pushed!) and wastage arguments. The only way is to show numbers have dropped, and that sort of information is what should be pushed.

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