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Do you think Ocearch really love sharks?

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#41 danielandrewclem

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 06:36 AM

Gina,

 

Here's a link to the editorial board of Animal Biotelemetry—not exactly a bunch of slackers, if you know anything about research of large pelagics. And here's an explanation from Editor-in-Chief Peter Klimley about the journal's purpose, why the articles are available to everyone, etc.

 

If you'd like to read a review of the Domeier-edited book, you could try this review in Copeia. I haven't read it.

 

By the way, don't assume that an article is better or its findings more "legitimate" just because it appears in a big-name journal such as Nature or Science. Ten years ago, Nature published something by Ransom Myers and Boris Worm that was subsequently panned by many other scientists, yet because that paper (technically it was a "letter") was in Nature and it had really scary numbers about large fishes being severely overfished (just 10% of pre-industrial levels) throughout the world, that letter's findings are still used as the lede for countless mainstream articles, TV shows, documentaries, keynote addresses, and other media about overfishing. (Usually, people interpret the letter's findings as "90% of the world's large fish are gone," but interpretations have been looser, too.) Even though the letter has been debunked (here's one critic's summation)—or at the very least thoroughly disputed by other analyses—it is likely that that "90%" number will endure, given the way people rely on Google and, in mainstream media, many writers just copy each other's work. And it's such a great number—90%!—with such an undeniable wow factor, that just about everyone who is looking for such a number will happily use it and not bother to learn about the many rebuttals that followed that paper. For example, see Greenpeace's page on overfishing. And, of course, Sea Shepherd is all over it. Some numbers are just too damn sexy to die. Anyhow, the point is, an obscure journal can publish great work while the most prominent journals can be sloppy in what they choose to print. And vice versa, of course.


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#42 wahlaoeh

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:37 PM

 

Daniel:  I'll leave the research papers to Gina. ;)   but here's an article   a little piece of tabloid news on World renowned shark researcher Pete Klimley:

http://iteamblog.abc7news.com/2011/05/controversial-shark-researcher-wants-4-year-permit.html

 

Quote:

Klimley tells me the first thing he worked on with the producers was an animal care protocol, an in-depth consideration of the health of the sharks, how the research would affect them, and techniques to minimize harm.  Klimley say Domeier did not have an animal care protocol in place when he came to the Farallon Islands in November 2009, and gut-hooked Junior.  The Great White was spotted late last year in terrible condition.  Several researchers I spoke with say Domeier’s invasive techniques – most of all, leaving most of a 13-inch hook in Junior’s throat, made it weak and susceptible to attack by other sharks. 

 

Klimley says he demanded the production crew build a sling to hoist the sharks and a live well on the ship, in which to place them.  Klimley  will not work with Great Whites in these expeditions – he says their enormous size is a challenge.  He’s working with smaller Tiger and Hammerhead Sharks.

 

 

  


Edited by wahlaoeh, 27 November 2013 - 04:49 PM.


#43 Drew

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 08:52 PM

Yes well, I prefer to liken it to Michelle Bachman, in that bad information was made worse by being given legs for reasons other than reason! At least Jenny is happy to be in ignorant bliss and even signed a book deal now. )

 

Ah, yes! How could I have been so stupid?

 

Gina

Further to Daniels infor, Mike's book has been used in other research papers as a reference including Kevin Weng etc.  So I doubt your  advisor will disregard it.  There's plenty of good data and research in the book.   As for dorsal fin damage, there is evidence that SPOT/PET tags damage fins.  How serious this damage affects a shark needs further analysis as well.  Point is there is real data to support damage caused, which goes a long way more.  Then again, all this is for nought since Michael has stopped using SPOT tags since in 2011 (EDIT:) after the difficulties of the initial methodlology on Sharkmen.   :)

As a biologist, if I were to go to my advisor with this book as a reference she would disregard it.

 

Mike, the data for those books were gathered on the Sharkmen series.  Like most things pioneering, landing a GWS was a work in progress back then and the methodology has improved over time.  Michael's ( and other scientists) techniques had to be honed.

 

 However, it does leave me a little confused about Ocearch's contribution in the collection of the data for that paper.

 

Mike


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#44 BottomTime

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 09:28 PM

Then again, all this is for nought since Michael has stopped using SPOT tags since 2011. :)


Drew, why do my spidee senses tell me that you know a lot more than your telling?

Mike

 

"Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible"

 


#45 wahlaoeh

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 09:55 PM

Okay, to be really precise, my question should be: Is the OUTDATED and INVASIVE methods used by Chris Fischer and the current Ocearch team really neccessary for the Great White Shark research?

 

Yes, I agree. I'd much rather see this kind of SPOT tagging going on that the large production that I have seen from Ocearch. But, I am a little confused as to whether or not this was the technique used for Mr Domeier's work in Guadalupe or if his work being presented on their web site is a sign that Mr Domeier

is distancing himself from Ocearch. Maybe I'm reading too much into this though.

 

 

 

http://fijisharkdivi...ents-by-dr.html

 

Mike: not sure if you have read this. Very interesting! But be warned that it's just another piece of tabloid. ;)

 

ps: I just re-read this cos it humour me too much on a dull work day and I really like this bit: No, I don’t give the data to Fischer…why should I…it’s my data? LOL!!! Make me wonder will Ocearch or CF ever be publishing some invaluable data, ever ..


Edited by wahlaoeh, 27 November 2013 - 11:15 PM.


#46 Drew

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 11:16 PM

Not so much, Mike.  I believe it's public information that is easily found if anyone cared to look for it.  That new adage that people using internet searches only look for content that supports their thoughts rather than actual facts is unfortunately quite true.  The uproar on the GWS "Junior" back in 2011 was quite interesting.   Unfortunately, in science, it's evolutionary in process refinement.

And no, having a spider man costume or wetsuit doesn't give one spidey sense! :)

Drew, why do my spidee senses tell me that you know a lot more than your telling?


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#47 wahlaoeh

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 11:42 PM

Then again, all this is for nought since Michael has stopped using SPOT tags since 2011. :)

 

 I believe it's public information that is easily found if anyone cared to look for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drew: Where did you find the information that Dr. Domeier has stopped using SPOT tag? The information that I found from his website say that he is using less invasive method but still SPOT tagged. Maybe that website is not up to date. Pray share.

 

I have read somewhere that some scientists, can't  rememebr now if that includes Dr. Domeier are trying to use single bolt instead of the standard 4 bolts.

 

"Scientists at MCSI have been working to improve methods for SPOT tagging adult great white sharks. New methods developed, tested and implemented by MCSI involve a device to prevent gut hooking, soft fishing gear to prevent skin abrasions and constant forward movement to fully irrigate the gills. Sharks tagged in this manner, including the largest white shark to ever be SPOT tagged, were far more vigorous upon release than our previous method that lifted the sharks from the water. We strive to constantly improve our methods to do what is best for the sharks and the scientific community."

 

ps: This does not concern Ocearch or CF now but I'm still interested.


Edited by wahlaoeh, 27 November 2013 - 11:53 PM.


#48 wahlaoeh

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 03:58 AM

Drew: Just want to make sure: is this the same Michael that you were referring to? Dr. Michael Domeier on the right.

 

ps: This was an old photo from Ocearch tagging expedition.


Edited by wahlaoeh, 28 November 2013 - 04:02 AM.


#49 Drew

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 04:54 PM

Drew, why do my spidee senses tell me that you know a lot more than your telling?

Mike et al, my apologies.  I wasn't thorough and detailed enough in my statement, since it's been at least 2-3 years since the GWS controversy on Sharkmen.  Domeier stopped using SPOT tags on GWS after the big backlash from Sharkmen, until he improved on the methodology.  I guess he felt the improved methodology warranted the use of the SPOT tags again.

Thanks to a little dauphin for reminding me to recheck my sources instead of working off memory. :)


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#50 wahlaoeh

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 08:44 PM

Mike et al, my apologies.  I wasn't thorough and detailed enough in my statement, since it's been at least 2-3 years since the GWS controversy on Sharkmen.  Domeier stopped using SPOT tags on GWS after the big backlash from Sharkmen, until he improved on the methodology.  I guess he felt the improved methodology warranted the use of the SPOT tags again.

Thanks to a little dauphin for reminding me to recheck my sources instead of working off memory. :)

 

Drew: Thanks for taking your time to check and for the clarification. :) I'm glad to know that some of these scientists who have worked with Ocearch before are distancing from them and are evolving in new minimally invasive techniques.

 

ps1: I love dolphins too ;)

ps2: I also know that you are actively involved in shark finning etc. issues so lets all work together for the sharks who have no voice. :)

ps3: I wanna to like your last post but am not able to. :drink:


Edited by wahlaoeh, 28 November 2013 - 08:48 PM.


#51 BottomTime

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 09:30 PM



Not so much, Mike.  I believe it's public information that is easily found if anyone cared to look for it.  That new adage that people using internet searches only look for content that supports their thoughts rather than actual facts is unfortunately quite true.  The uproar on the GWS "Junior" back in 2011 was quite interesting.   Unfortunately, in science, it's evolutionary in process refinement.

And no, having a spider man costume or wetsuit doesn't give one spidey sense! :)

FS: one lightly use spider man suit. $1,000,000 OBO

 



Mike et al, my apologies.  I wasn't thorough and detailed enough in my statement, since it's been at least 2-3 years since the GWS controversy on Sharkmen.  Domeier stopped using SPOT tags on GWS after the big backlash from Sharkmen, until he improved on the methodology.  I guess he felt the improved methodology warranted the use of the SPOT tags again.

Thanks to a little dauphin for reminding me to recheck my sources instead of working off memory. :)

Phew, that was a close one!

 


Edited by BottomTime, 28 November 2013 - 09:30 PM.

Mike

 

"Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible"

 


#52 BottomTime

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 09:34 PM

http://fijisharkdivi...ents-by-dr.html

 

Mike: not sure if you have read this. Very interesting! But be warned that it's just another piece of tabloid. ;)

ahhh yes. Nothing quite like watching the monkeys throw poo at each other :)


Mike

 

"Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible"

 


#53 Autopsea

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 11:53 PM

I realize how glad I am that I'm mostly working with small robust sharks. Harder I've deal with so far are bull sharks that get tired pretty fast - you have to work really fast and make sure you release it is shallow waters in case he needs some help...

 

some tonic immobility before release makes a big difference, they seem to "forget" what just happened and go back very peacefully.

 

 

 

For the question about "do we need to catch GWS to tag them?", I guess it depend on several things including where you are (i.e. how clear is the water, can you approach GWS underwater without too much risk) which make it harder when you are elsewere than at Guadalupe...

 

I think I remember there is great job being done in south Australia / New Zealand with some really cool large boat designed for GWS which allow fast and easy catch and release.



#54 wahlaoeh

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 01:15 AM

I realize how glad I am that I'm mostly working with small robust sharks. Harder I've deal with so far are bull sharks that get tired pretty fast - you have to work really fast and make sure you release it is shallow waters in case he needs some help...

 

some tonic immobility before release makes a big difference, they seem to "forget" what just happened and go back very peacefully.

 

 

Autopsea: Thanks for sharing. I have seen many videos of the smaller shark species (including the larger Tiger sharks) going into tonic immobility but they do recover quickly. I have posted this video previously from one of the episode of the Shark Wranglers which showed that this GWS went into tonic immobility but almost didn't make it. Unfortunately, the video can only be streamed from the US now. I think I remember seeing that this GWS was caught and lifted out of the water. http://sharetv.com/watch/451994

 

For the question about "do we need to catch GWS to tag them?", I guess it depend on several things including where you are (i.e. how clear is the water, can you approach GWS underwater without too much risk) which make it harder when you are elsewere than at Guadalupe...

 

I think I remember there is great job being done in south Australia / New Zealand with some really cool large boat designed for GWS which allow fast and easy catch and release.

 

 

 

I was talking to someone from Perth on another forum and this is the website that he suggested for me to read about Australia tagged sharks. Till date, they have tagged more than 300 sharks and about 200 of these are the GWS.

http://www.fish.wa.g...ng-network.aspx

 

The type of tags being used are called acoustic transmitters which emit a unique signal that can be recognised by another piece of equipment called an acoustic receiver.

 

A video showing how these tags are being placed:

 

Looks like this shark was in tonic immobility but without having it being lifted out of the water. What do you think?

 

ps: I'm still learning and my friend has just sent me a link to his "SMALL" collection to read up so if there is any mistake (or not up to date information) in my posts, pls pardon and correct me. ;)


Edited by wahlaoeh, 29 November 2013 - 01:21 AM.


#55 Autopsea

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 01:54 AM

Acoustic tagging is not the same tool. It's very different and should be complementary when it can be used at all. The reason is that you need recievers to "record" the shark. The range is generally ~200m. You will have 0 information about where is the sharks when he is away from of the those recievers, which make it poorly informative in the case of pelagic/semi-pelagic sharks.

 

It is a great tool for resident sharks however, because it will give you information about the daily routines of sharks. But of no use to learn about long migrations, deep sea uses, etc...

 

edit : hope it don't go controversial but we did a quick recording in 2011 on a grey reef sharks - very easy sharks as they are very robusts.

This is internal accoustic tagging. One could say very invasive but we have over 12 months cool data about their roaming around healthy : )

notice how thick the skin is on females. (and the divers under us at the beginning - if I remember well it was Bill Gates. We had James Cameron the next week ^^)

 


Edited by Autopsea, 29 November 2013 - 02:03 AM.


#56 gina

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 08:59 AM

And no, having a spider man costume or wetsuit doesn't give one spidey sense! :)

 

Drat, then wearing this suit did me no good?

 

11119018224_8e45a675ee_c.jpg



#57 gina

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 10:45 AM

Gina,

 

Here's a link to the editorial board of Animal Biotelemetry—not exactly a bunch of slackers, if you know anything about research of large pelagics. And here's an explanation from Editor-in-Chief Peter Klimley about the journal's purpose, why the articles are available to everyone, etc.

 

What made me wonder about Animal Biotelemetry is not only that it didn't show up in my university's library database (which is why I put in an inquiry to the science librarian), but also the fact that they are a pay-to-publish journal.  With some exceptions, authors have to pay a fee in order to be published.  This put up a red flag for me--do they publish everyone who pays the fee?  (Does this happen with any of the known and respected journals?)  I didn't see anything that addressed this particular facet, and if it's not the case, it would be nice to see something that specifically says that does not happen.  I understand that circumstantial evidence does not imply guilt, but again, I want to address the red flag.

 

And speaking of red flags, that's really what the whole Ocearch thing is about.  When I heard about an organization of non-scientist fishermen who were catching sharks, invasively placing tags on them, and basing a television show around this, that didn't sound good.  So I decided to look into it and found the scientific articles they cited were not actual peer-reviewed articles from legitimate journals, their not-exactly-true claims of answering to IACUCs, etc.  Again, while I cannot find any concrete evidence that Ocearch is "bad" or lying or whatever you want to call it, those red flags are waving around like crazy.  Personally, I do not trust Ocearch and I do wish there was a way they could be stopped.

 

 

 

If you'd like to read a review of the Domeier-edited book, you could try this review in Copeia. I haven't read it.

 

I did read it, and it's pretty much just a general book review.  They say these papers came from an international white shark symposium in Honolulu in 2010, but there is no information on any peer-review that may have happened.

 

 

By the way, don't assume that an article is better or its findings more "legitimate" just because it appears in a big-name journal such as Nature or Science

 

An article is only as good as its science, and sometimes even good science goes out of date as new information comes around.  But unfortunately, there is at least some bad science out there (not necessarily to deceive, although I'm sure that happens, but done using bad methods) and peer-reviewed journals are one sort of protection against that sort of thing.  When you have a panel of scientists critiquing the work of others it helps eliminate some of the bad studies.  Which is why I (and many/most scientists) are such sticklers for legitimate peer-review.  I  (and many/most scientists)

 am willing to change my mind in light of quality evidence to the contrary.

 

-Gina



#58 BottomTime

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 03:02 PM

 

What made me wonder about Animal Biotelemetry is not only that it didn't show up in my university's library database (which is why I put in an inquiry to the science librarian), but also the fact that they are a pay-to-publish journal.  With some exceptions, authors have to pay a fee in order to be published.  This put up a red flag for me--do they publish everyone who pays the fee?  (Does this happen with any of the known and respected journals?)  I didn't see anything that addressed this particular facet, and if it's not the case, it would be nice to see something that specifically says that does not happen.  I understand that circumstantial evidence does not imply guilt, but again, I want to address the red flag.

I have been out of academia for a long time now but my memory was that most of the journals were "pay to publish" and the more prestigious the Journal, the more it was going to cost you to publish.


Edited by BottomTime, 29 November 2013 - 03:05 PM.

Mike

 

"Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible"

 


#59 wahlaoeh

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 03:16 PM

Acoustic tagging is not the same tool. It's very different and should be complementary when it can be used at all. The reason is that you need recievers to "record" the shark. The range is generally ~200m. You will have 0 information about where is the sharks when he is away from of the those recievers, which make it poorly informative in the case of pelagic/semi-pelagic sharks.

 

It is a great tool for resident sharks however, because it will give you information about the daily routines of sharks. But of no use to learn about long migrations, deep sea uses, etc...

 

 

Autopsea: Thanks but I'm aware of that. The reason why I mentioned WA is because of the recent shark attack fatality and Ocearch (CF) is AGAIN mongering FEAR to the public by pressuring the WA government with a deadline to take up his offer. How convenient!!! IMHO, it's DESPERATE!!!!

 

State government given seven weeks to take up shark offer

 

http://m.watoday.com...1122-2y16o.html

 

 

Onto the acoustic tags: When shark attack like that happened, people are relying on fishermen and jumping into conclusions that there is an increase in GWS in WA in the recent years. Of course it's just an increase in sharks and not human invasion!!! I think what WA fisheries is trying to find out is: will the same GWS be "loitering" around or is there indeed a congregation of GWS in their region. Hopefully, with these data, they are able to convince otherwise as the GWS are highly migratory and travel vast distances in a short period of time. So, trying to catch the "culprit" shark is a never a clever solution or worst culling them. But, with FEAR, will these people listen to Science?


Edited by wahlaoeh, 29 November 2013 - 04:42 PM.


#60 BottomTime

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 05:23 PM

 
What made me wonder about Animal Biotelemetry is not only that it didn't show up in my university's library database (which is why I put in an inquiry to the science librarian), but also the fact that they are a pay-to-publish journal.  With some exceptions, authors have to pay a fee in order to be published.  This put up a red flag for me--do they publish everyone who pays the fee?  (Does this happen with any of the known and respected journals?)  I didn't see anything that addressed this particular facet, and if it's not the case, it would be nice to see something that specifically says that does not happen.  I understand that circumstantial evidence does not imply guilt, but again, I want to address the red flag.

This is a good read - Open access: The true cost of science publishing
The author mentioned the rejection rate for a couple of different journals in the body of the article. I dont know if most of the journals advertise their acceptance/rejection rate, but I would love it if they did.
 
However, for me, it doesnt really matter. At the end, I think it is the responsibility of the reader to critically evaluate any material they read. Just because its published doesnt mean it is right. I read Dr. Domeier most recent paper and I would say that there are some holes. But my criticisms revolve around the statistically insignificant dataset of 4 individuals and would argue that he needs more data to support his theory. This means more tagging. I would also argue that it means SPOT tags as positional quality from PAT tags is inadequate and the tags dont stay put long enough.
 
However, the kind of data that Dr. Domeier needs also raises concerns around the potential damage the methods may inflict on the shark. I read the paper in PLOS ONE and agree with Drew. There is real evidence that suggests damage is being done if tags stay in place long term. Fortunately/unfortunately we are generating a lot more new data on this subject. I only hope that someone is collecting this data and that it will be presented in a SCIENTIFIC fashion. Indeed, Dr Domeier now has 3 new subjects (F6, F77 & F100) from his study that have carried SPOT tags for 2 years (F98 is presumed dead).
 
 


And speaking of red flags, that's really what the whole Ocearch thing is about.  When I heard about an organization of non-scientist fishermen who were catching sharks, invasively placing tags on them, and basing a television show around this, that didn't sound good.  So I decided to look into it and found the scientific articles they cited were not actual peer-reviewed articles from legitimate journals, their not-exactly-true claims of answering to IACUCs, etc.  Again, while I cannot find any concrete evidence that Ocearch is "bad" or lying or whatever you want to call it, those red flags are waving around like crazy.  Personally, I do not trust Ocearch and I do wish there was a way they could be stopped.

I agree with everything you said but I disagree if your conclusion is that they should be stopped. My mistrust isnt evidence and not liking them isnt a reason to shut them down. Because CF has such an affinity for the limelight, there are a lot of people watching and every slip, real or perceived, is going to be caught. So, if you can not find evidence to prove a theory (That Ocearch is all/mostly bad), at what point do you accept that the theory might not be correct?
 
I would love to see Ocearch change their ways. To my eye, the outward appearances of the methods that Dr. Domeier outlines on his website are more appealing. But this is a personal bias of mine as Ive always aspired to the alpinist philosophy of light, lean, fast and efficient. Ive never been a fan of the brute force; mass over might philosophy (even the words I use illustrate my bias). But, there is no evidence at this point to suggest that it is in fact better. I could also argue that Dr Domeier doesnt have full control of that shark (in the picture on his website), which puts him, his staff and that shark at risk. Until we have data, we only have philosophies, feelings and theories. Im a data guy.
 
Mike
 
PS. Spider woman suit underwater... you win.

Edited by BottomTime, 29 November 2013 - 07:38 PM.

Mike

 

"Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible"