I did intend to send this as a PM, but decided my opinion is my opinion and as a member of Wetpixel I am entitled to express it on the open forums.
Hi Shawn, firstly I dont recall ever having any dialogue with yourself whether that is on the forum or in person.
Please dont take what I am about to say in the wrong light, which a lot of people do when words are written rather than spoken. I am not going to post a reply to your posting as I know where it will end up and Wetpixel has been there time and time again.
What I would ask you to do though is to look a little bit nearer to your Wetpixel home and ask yourself why Drew Wong felt the need to actually post this topic in the first place. Do a search for Drew and Dolphin Dream and you will see that he takes any given opportunity to near on slander Scott and his lively hood. Do you think that this behaviour from a moderator is acceptable. I certainly do not. I have met Scott as you know, and he is not the man that Drew would like everyone to think he is. He is a passionate guy and of course he cares about the sharks. That goes without saying.
I will take this opportunity to address the points that you have made.
I read this thread with interest but honestly was disappointed by much of your commentary. In the past I have considered your input fair and impartial. Your recent posts unfortunately reflect a strong defensive posture for Scotty and Dolphin dream, regardless of their flagrant abusive behavior as documented in this video.
Yes I will defend Scott and his team if Drew continues to portray them for soemthing that they are not. I did not see Scott in any of the footage acting abusive so why have you indicated that he was acting in a flagrant and abusive manner. When quite clearly it was the guys who chartered the boat that in your opinion were acting in this way.
Did you know Emma was pregnant during this period? Do you understand the possible repercussions and if so, do you care? Sharks are nothing like wahoo and other sport fish.
No I didnt know that Emma was pregnant when the footage was taken. Like I said before If she felt the slightest harmed she would have let go of the chum. Yes I care, that is why I will not allow Drew to dirty the minds of forum members with his very biased opinion. As a moderator he should do just that. Moderate. Yes I care, that is why I contribute monthly to many organisations and foundations across the globe to help save our planet. I am not a veggie or whatever the word is that they call themselves this week, but I have morals, believe it or not. When I think somethng is wrong then I will say. Just like you have. That doesnt mean that I am correct in my opinion though, and people need to understand that just because they say something, it doesnt mean its correct.
You should understand that their biology, behavior and lifecycle are completely different. In addition, the use of a chain directly on the bait damages the sharks mouth and destroys their teeth. Most shark operators today shun this practice. Yes the next row of teeth comes in, but is this abuse reasonable and to be endorsed?
Yes I do know that. But who can say that it is ok to catch sport fish, but not ok to pull a shark around on a block of chum that is connected to a chain or rope. Or would rope be ok?
I know folks who frequent the Dolphin Dream who are publicly very outspoken against the use of chains in baiting. I also know folks who have shot FOR Discovery Shark Week on the Dophin who feel their practices used are excessive, sensationalist and abusive. If ALL operators chose to set the standard higher and not allow film crews to create sensationalistic and abusive programming on their watch, the media portrayal of sharks would be in a different state. Unfortunately some operators do not take this stand, and the resulting video is what we end up with. And yes, their are many other important issues relating to sharks. That said, public empathy for the animals plays a critical role in supporting legislation to protect them. This kind of programing that that job more difficult....and working every day on this issue, we don't need any more obstacles than we already face.
Well if Drew did not start this topic off once again then we would not even be chatting about it. People would not be able to read about it, and people would not be able to find it on a gooooogle search. As it stands it is on the www for all to find. I totally agree that you dont need any more obstacles put in your way and do not personally think that it is the DD that you should be ranting about, it should be the Discovery Channel and other channels that screen items such as this. But like I keep saying Drew likes to drag the DD name down whenever he can.
I understand your need to defend the operator you choose. That said, please don't let this cause you to also defend the abusive and reckless treatment of the sharks we saw in this video. Your last post offers all kinds of justifications, then ends with "but, this doesn't mean I support it". If don't support it, then say so with conviction. If you do, then do state it. A luke warm posture is safe, but not really compelling. Let's not confuse the issue.
In the footage that was put on the posting I do not see much wrong with it. OK you will argue there is and have mentioned the chain for instance. I am entitled to my view and should be allowed to express my view on the forum, afterall thats what makes a good forum. I agree that screening footage like this can give the wrong perspective of sharks and that is totally wrong. But have a go at the multi billion dollar corporation Discovery and not the guy who is trying to earn a few dollars to feed his family. The stupidity on the dive deck, that I do agree was pathetic and careless. But having a solid frozen mass of fish on the end of a rope for the shark to attack is not really any different from shark feed dives. Like I said in my posting, bait crates are hard plastic and they chew and chomp on them all day long. Should all operators stop using bait crates as well. Is it any different than having a ball on a piece of rope for your pet dog to play with. I dont think it is. The only difference being that one is a domesticated animal, the other is wild. But then that opens up another can of worms. If we say that we should not do it to the sharks because they are wild animals, then do we then say we are not allowed to feed, chum and or use any kind of attractors into the water.
Scotty needs to man-up and tell Discovery this kind of behavior is not welcome on his boat and will not be tolerated. If they don't like it, then they can take their business elsewhere. In that case, I would be delighted to see him continue to run his business and share the sharks of the Bahamas with more potential shark supporters.
When was this footage taken, I do not have a clue myself but I guess a few years ago judging by the hairdo on the dive deck. Is there recent footage that shows similar or are the ones Drew repeatadly embeds the only ones. In which case they should be allowed to be put to bed and Drew should stop bringing them back to light. I would be interested to read the emails of complaint that have been sent to Discovery regarding this issue. Or has no one actually written to them.
I hope you take my commentary as intended, for the sharks and nothing more.
Of course, I have broad shoulders and a big ugly face and more importantly an opinion. I donate a fair bit of my income to helping organisations to make the oceans a better place so asking whether I care is a little below the belt. If I came on the forum saying, yes this is great, where can i go to do this kind of thing, then you have the right to ask whether i care or not. But for just putting all this into perspective I feel the question was not called for. If I didnt care, I would not have spent half of this afternoon replying to you, and half of my life on Wetpixel.