14 April, 2013

Two men enter; one man leaves...

Jislyk, what a time to be cut off from the internet!  In case you have been living under a rock, the Domeier – Fischer drama bomb has exploded on the BAD Blog.  Check out the DaShark v. Fischer comment battle royal, and then the good Doctor’s rebuttal

Since I have met both these okes (and have had both of them warn me about the other), I am not surprised to see this boil over, although I am surprised by the source.  Goes to show how influential these pesky shark blogs are after all, ney?

Unfortunately, a situation such as this is not rare in the ‘industry’, but is rarely so public.  The most challenging experience one will face during a career in white shark research is being suckered into working with someone that is a dick.  Like a one-night stand, they/their projects may look attractive and say all the right things, but then you wake up and realize that you’re some wrinkly married man’s mid-life crisis.  Seems like when Dr.D and Fischer woke up next to each other, they were sourly unimpressed.  In such cases, you can either scream and defame as much as you can to anyone who will listen, or you can walk-of-shame onto the next phase of your life wiser.  I’ll let the readers suss out who is doing what in this case but in the end it doesn’t matter.  Both are still going on and achieving their respective missions, and most importantly, know never to get in bed with each other again.  Yet, when you burn a bridge sometimes an olive branch is extended.  

Like most female white shark researchers (who suffer daily exposure to wounded male egos), I could care less.  The results speak for themselves.  Props to Dr.D and force-of-nature N.Nasby-Lucas for submitting to a brand-new open access journal.  So, go read it!

As for the PAT v. SPOT rash that just won’t go away no matter how much peer-reviewed literature you ingest, let me tell you a crushing story…

Note that most of her dorsal is missing (but is making a come-back) and all of the right pectoral is gone except a nub.  No one is sure how her fins got sliced off, but we have documented cases where fishing line draped across a fin worked like a cheese-cutter through the cartilage resulting in clean cuts like Nemo’s.  At the end of 2012, a PAT tag was attached to her to see where such a finless shark goes.  Do her damaged fins limit her migratory patterns?  Does she leave Gansbaai at all?  Any clue as to why this is an important question to answer?

The PAT popped up 2 months ago south of Madagascar, got caught in the south Indian subgyre and has now stopped pinging.  Thus, the high-definition location/temperature/depth data archived (PAT = Pop-up Archival Transmitter) in that tag has been lost.  Without the actual tag we are limited to the summary log that is transmitted when the PAT surfaces, so we will now know that Nemo was around southern Africa in coldish waters that got warmer, a fantastically anticlimactic ending that can’t be published anywhere!  The good news is, Nemo has now been spotted back in her usual haunt near Geyser Rock just in time for winter.