Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Shark Bait

I'll let you sink your teeth into it:

"‘This isn’t a toy!’ Anger greets photos of dead shark hung by its tail in Scituate" by Jeremy C. Fox Globe Correspondent  July 29, 2018

When many people think about sharks, their emotional responses may be closer to terror than sympathy, but some animal lovers said they were offended or horrified when they saw photos of a dead white shark posted on social media Saturday.

The 10-foot female died after it was unintentionally caught in a gillnet, according to the Facebook and Twitter posts by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.

Should have just let her go.

It was brought to Scituate, where samples were taken by scientists who study sharks, according to the posts. They included photos of the massive fish suspended by its tail and surrounded by onlookers, prompting criticism as well as messages of support.

Greg Skomal, a biologist with the state Division of Marine Fisheries, said he avoids social media and had not seen the response to the photos, but he understands the impulse behind the outrage.

“I appreciate people’s passion for this,” said Skomal, who was present in Scituate and took tissue samples from the animal, along with a fisheries scientist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“Certainly we’ve come a long way in the last 50 years, where for the most part, [in the past] the only good shark was a dead shark,” Skomal continued.

The social media response showed how much that attitude has changed. One photo in particular, showing a small girl patting the shark’s head, prompted outrage from a Facebook user.

“This isn’t a toy!” she wrote. “It’s a beautiful animal that has been killed. What is wrong with people.”

One man, who described himself as a “huge supporter” of the conservancy, said he found the organization’s Facebook post “very offensive.”

“What happened to this animal is in my opinion criminal,” he wrote. “Then to hang it like a trophy is disgusting. There are other ways for our children to learn about sharks. Wish you discouraged this and not promote it on your site.”

The conservancy responded, saying it appreciated his support and further explaining the images.

“This white shark was caught and killed unintentionally, which is not illegal,” the organization wrote. “The photos from our post are just after the shark was picked up from the boat to be moved to the ground for scientists to collect samples. Much will be learned from this animal.”

The conservancy and the offended Facebook users did not immediately respond to interview requests on Sunday afternoon.

They've done is virtue signaling for the day, and I wish they would stop waving the kids around.

Skomal stressed that “there was no intent by this fisherman to kill this shark” and explained that the law forbids fishermen from possessing sharks, dead or alive. So when an animal is snared in a net, it is usually thrown back into the water.

They will next time to avoid all the hubbub.

On Saturday, the commercial fisherman who caught the shark was able to contact Skomal, who had the authority to allow the shark to be brought to Scituate and to take possession of it, he said.

“It’s great for us to take advantage of that opportunity and learn at least something from the animal,” he said. “Ideally, we want to keep them alive . . . but if they do die as by-catch, which is rare, we at least want to learn something from them.”

Forget that!

Skomal said it was necessary to hang the shark from its tail to weigh it. He added that he and the other biologist had examined the shark’s reproductive system to determine its sex and whether it was mature and looked at its stomach contents to see what it had eaten.

They took samples of the shark’s backbone to determine its age, took liver and muscle tissue to measure contaminants in its system, removed its heart for study by a specialist in shark circulatory systems, and took its nasal lobes so a biologist could study its sense of smell.

“It is sad that the animal’s dead, but from a scientific standpoint this was an opportunity,” he said.

Skomal said it was “refreshing” that so many people had posted online about their desire to keep sharks alive and treat them with care.

“If people are passionate about protecting an animal that was much maligned historically,” he said, “then I think that we’re going in the right direction.”

Yeah, wow. Now if only there was some outrage over the wars based on lies that are killing thousands if not millions of people by now.


Just wondering where was the outrage for the seal?

Time to close the beaches and get the kids out of the water.


"As the new fishing season begins, many of the city’s fishermen are unemployed, their suppliers stuck with excess inventory, and local officials are questioning whether the millions of dollars in lost revenue will cost the port its ranking as the nation’s most valuable, as it has been for the past 17 years. Carlos Rafael, the disgraced fishing mogul known as “The Codfather,” is now in prison, but the consequences of his crimes are still being felt throughout New Bedford....." 

It's a light catch, and I thought they were going to blame the Trump tariff trap.

Also see: 

Record heat scorches four continents, and more is due

15,000 ordered to two flee Northern California wildfires

I was told they were making progress.

Boy Scout lost in Wyoming wilderness survived on bugs, bark

He was caught off-guard by high winds, snow, and bitter cold, and the sharks were washed out to sea:

"Norway defends killing of polar bear near cruise ship" Associated Press  July 31, 2018

COPENHAGEN — Norwegian authorities on Monday defended the actions of guards from a German cruise ship that killed a polar bear that had attacked and injured a crew member, saying they at first tried to scare it away.

Police spokesman Ole Jakob Malmo said two members of the crew that set foot on the most northern island of the Svalbard archipelago ahead of tourists first tried to ward off the bear ‘‘by shouting and making loud noises as well as firing a signal pistol, but to no effect.’’

The incident sparked international outrage, with animal rights activists saying that it was wrong to let tourists encroach upon territory known as a habitat for the bears.

The German ship operator said that the purpose of the landing on Svalbard was not polar bear observation.

British comedian Ricky Gervais took to Twitter to call the tourists ‘‘morons,’’ while another user said that if such tourism was banned, guards ‘‘wouldn’t be needed to protect gawking tourists and polar bears would be left in peace and not shot dead merely to satisfy a photo op.’’

He took to that intolerant echo chamber?


Next Day Updates:

A shark named Mueller

San Antonio Aquarium recovers shark stolen in baby stroller

Crews report progress in fight against twin California fires

Great white shark swims by unwary paddleboarder off Cape Cod

"Fox that attacked two women in Middleborough killed by police" by Emily Sweeney Globe Staff  July 31, 2018

A fox that had attacked two women in Middleborough this week was shot and killed by police early Tuesday morning, authorities said.

The animal, which “appeared sickly and ornery,” was spotted by a citizen in a ditch on the side of the road on Plymouth Street, just north of the entrance to the Kampground of America, and was shot by an officer because it was deemed to be “an immediate threat to public safety,” police said in a press release. 

I'm waiting for my social media outrage.

“This is standard procedure when there is an animal that is deemed dangerous or threatening toward the public,” the release said.

A state lab will be testing it for rabies, the release said.

“Given that the animal had attacked two people, it was considered to be a threat to the public and had to be killed in order for it to be tested for rabies and other diseases,” police Chief Joseph Perkins said in the press release. “I want to thank the many residents who reached out yesterday in helping us locate the fox.”

The first attack was reported to police around 7:10 a.m. Sunday, after a woman was bitten by a fox at the KOA campground on Plymouth Street in Middleborough.

The second attack on another woman occurred around 9:45 p.m. Sunday on Muttock Lane, which is less than a half-mile away from the KOA campground.

Gabriela Goncalves, 34, was at home Sunday night when her mother went outside to fetch something from her car in the driveway. Suddenly, she heard her mother scream.

“I heard these desperate screams for help,” she said.

Goncalves immediately ran outside and saw her 66-year-old mother on the ground, trying to fight off a fox that was attacking her. She was holding it by the nose, to keep it from biting her, but the animal was relentless and overpowered her.

“She couldn’t get up because the fox wouldn’t let up,” she said. “She was bleeding everywhere.”

Goncalves grabbed a shovel and hit the fox, but the animal continued its attack. She hit the fox again with the shovel until it finally stopped and ran off into the woods.

Goncalves said the fox bit her mother’s foot first, which caused her to fall, and then bit her all over her legs and thighs. All told, she was bitten more than 10 times.

“You’d never think something like that would happen to you,” she said. “She was caught off guard. She didn’t even know what it was.”

Goncalves said she and her mother moved into this home in Middleborough two and a half months ago, and now they don’t feel safe in their own backyard.



"On Cape Cod, sharks have become an accepted part of the local lifestyle. Souvenir shops are filled with shark-themed item, but over the past week, 10 great white sharks have been spotted off the Cape’s shoreline....."

Also see: 

Great white shark snatched fish off hook, captain says

Shark snags striper from fishermen off Cape Cod

Shark bites bass off hook off Monomoy Island