This is a good read - Open access: The true cost of science publishing
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.
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).
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?
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 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.
PS. Spider woman suit underwater... you win.