The piracy situation in Somalia is a terrible human tragedy. That’s why when conservationist Joni Lawrence said that it was great because it helped fish stocks to recover, people like myself and Blogfish author Mark Powell got angry. As it turns out, Joni Lawrence wasn’t just being horribly insensitive- she was wrong.
Originally published on April 26, 2009 How to brew beer in a coffee maker, using only materials commonly found on a modestly sized oceanographic research vessel has been one of our most popular posts. Over the past year, through experimentation and advice from fellow scientists and brewers, I’ve modified the recipe. The biggest criticism was that in order to make good beer, you needed to smuggle hops aboard. “Well, if you can bring hops aboard” they ask, “what’s to stop you from bringing any other brew supplies aboard?” The answer is nothing. So we went back to the brew pot, experimented with new reagents, and bring you now the definitive guide to brewing beer in a coffee maker, using only materials commonly found on a modestly sized oceanographic research vessel.
Part 1 of 3 in the Series “Get to know your fry-entists”
It is impossible for a biologist, ecologist, environmental scientist not to think about conservation. The problems our planet is facing are so concrete, so quantifiable, so visible that to ignore them would be to betray the very thing we’ve dedicated our lives to studying. I always chuckle when scientists are portrayed as cold, calculating, and heartless, when the truth is that they’re more committed to understanding their system than any one else. Science is a labor of passion and scientists dig deeply into the inner workings of their world.
As promised, this week’s ethical debate deals with one of the most hotly debated issues in the marine conservation community- the tactics of “Sea Shepherd”.
Though “Sea Shepherd” is most famous (or infamous) for their work with the Japanese whaling fleet, which is featured in “Whale Wars”, they are also heavily involved with the shark finning industry.
Before we get started, I want to say something about the tone of this debate. I know from our own comments sections, even ones that don’t deal directly with Sea Shepherd, that there are strong opinions on both sides of this issue. See last week’s Deep Sea News, particularly the comments section, for an example of this. Here at Southern Fried Science, we recently came up with a new comments policy, which we will be enforcing strictly with this post. DO NOT personally attack anyone, DO NOT try to change the subject to something totally irrelevant, and DO NOT post under multiple names to create the false appearance of a majority (“sock puppetry”). Since the Deep Sea News post covered whale stuff pretty solidly, we will only be talking about shark finning here. WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT WHALING IN THIS POST.
Ok, now on to the debate.
The scenario is familiar to us all – Some sort of disease begins in a small town or large city, it spreads rapidly, infecting everyone in its wake, the infected become mindless, murderous creatures, hellbent on consuming or converting everyone they encounter, the walking dead. Finally, through some heroic effort, the survivors either turn back the tide or find a stronghold from which the human race can be rebuilt. It is the Zombie Apocalypse.