For over a decade I’ve struggled to understand why countless environmental groups wage a massive campaign to brainwash the public into believing sharks need protection. This unprecedented juggernaut of nonsense defies rational understanding. Countless Eco websites, news stories, even public figures seem intent to jump onto a bandwagon of government and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) which chant an ill-conceived mantra: “One hundred million sharks killed a year—send money—we need to save the sharks.”
They created drama and crisis while filling NGO pockets. Sharks are a perfect poster child for an agenda that claims overfishing will destroy the planet, yet countless seafood markets once offering fresh local seafood fail as an unprecedented 90% of our seafood is now imported. American jobs lost as this well-funded “over-fishing” campaign fueled with bad science and no evidence of so-called declining fish stocks crushes us. For thirty years I have asked the question: Why??
Greed, power and money feed the deadliest species of sharks: land sharks—the ones with two legs.
On September 19th I received an article written by a reporter from the United Kingdom titled: The Real Shark Con, Controlling our Seas and Other Stories. This article by Howard Sawyer was based on a two year investigation about shark protection. I believe it is the
biggest news since the Watergate break-in and resignation of a US president.
His article is about corruption and greed in one of the largest industries and ‘charitable’ foundations in America. Many people believe it could ultimately destroy our planet. In today’s climate of concern over ocean destruction and vulnerable eco-systems, I believe the power of the public perception should know the real story. And it ain’t about ocean sharks!
For the purpose of space I have condensed Mr. Sawyers’ investigation, adding comments in (parenthesis). His entire story can be found at: www.hesawyer.com
The Real Shark Con, Controlling Our Seas, And Other Stories
There was something fishy about shark conservation from the start. The closer one looked at the hyperbolic claims, the murkier the waters became.
A Few Words About The Pew Charitable
Trusts (Remember the group of shark attack victims who were ushered to Washington to lobby Congress for shark protection?)
Founded by the children of Joseph N. Pew, CEO of the Sun Oil Company, (Sunoco), the Pew Charitable Trusts have donated millions to environmental groups. Sunoco is considered an environmental leader in the oil and gas industry.
The Shark Trust is just one of 85 NGOs who receive funding from Pew, as part of the Shark Alliance, which Pew formed. This benefactor expects environmental groups within the Shark Alliance to toe their party line, or lose funding.
The important thing to remember here is that Pew are the biggest hitter in shark conservation, (Babe Ruth!) and they’re an American charitable foundation created from an American oil corporation.
The obvious question is: why is an oil company channeling dollars to save sharks?The answer: it was a strategy to improve the oil company’s image. Greenwashing!
Oil corporations reinvented themselves as energy corporations keen to push their environmental credentials. BP, British Petroleum,(remember the Deepwater Horizon debacle and subsequent coastal devastation?) They changed their company logo to the eco-friendly yellow and green sunburst. (How cute!)
Pew were not just the benevolent green face of Sunoco. They founded SeaWeb. One of the first things SeaWeb did was commission a survey to discover which ocean issue would best engage the public.
The results told SeaWeb that 81% of Americans thought oil spills were a very serious problem. (“Overfishing” wasn’t even on the radar). Negative attention was diverted from oil companies to fisheries, (thanks to the eco-shark agenda, funded by PEW.)
The important thing to remember here? Oil companies were to blame in the minds of the public. Until they were told the problem was overfishing.
Rebranding The Shark
No longer a ‘mindless killer’ it was portrayed as a victim. Conservation gave sharks an enemy with a face. Better still, a foreign face. The Asian market for shark fin soup. It was David vs. Goliath. Sharks were being killed for soup. The shark was now charismatic, faced a crisis, and had a villain. A perfect package for fund raising.
The important thing to remember here is that the shark conservation package was developed and marketed by Pew. For misdirection. They produced a 32 page glossy report entitled ‘Sharks in Trouble.’ The report included the dramatic decline in shark populations, (non-verifiable) complete with emotive photography of finned sharks lifeless on the seabed, pushing the ‘shark con’ agenda with leaps of faith and cherry picked, slanted science.
Essentially it was propaganda. Their solution: add more fishing regulations and trade restrictions. And most important: add shark sanctuaries. (Fact is: sharks are migratory and not likely to stay put.)
Points I raised to Pew about their report were simply unaddressed and ignored. Pew’s Director of Global Shark Conservation cared less about ‘Sharks in Trouble’ than I did. Are sharks simply Pew’s poster child? Remember the ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’ there’s another story going on, behind the poster, out of sight.
The Shark Con
After eighteen months of researching shark conservation, Pew’s involvement made no sense. Why was the shark so important? I realised I was neglecting the bigger picture.
‘The Shark Con’ a film by American Rusty Armstrong in 2010 had a tag line ‘It’s only business’. He found the embedded conservation message at every turn. Then he met a retired shark fisherman who had a completely different tale to tell. (Me: The Sharkman of Cortez.) “Sharks weren’t overfished, people were being paid to say this.”
Then came insight from Russell Hudson of Directed Fisheries. He spoke about Pew, “They had their people everywhere.” And he told Rusty why Pew were so interested in sharks. He
suggested that because the shark interacted in every fishery on the planet, it gave Pew leverage in every aspect of commercial fishing. (Follow the money…)
Pew’s SeaWeb painted overfishing as bad guy as far as the health of our oceans and Pew were the good guys, funding conservation. That’s how I knew shark conservation were distorting the facts.
The Real Shark Con
Why was the charitable foundation of an oil corporation funding shark conservation? Pew had funded SeaWeb and in turn changed negative public perception from oil companies to fisheries. (Now here’s the REAL story)
Pew Charitable Trusts called for a National Ocean Policy for the US outer continental shelf. The policy they wrote became law. Top of the list was zoning large areas of sea floor for the purpose of leasing them to corporations for energy production (Offshore DRILLING!)
It’s a very clever way of rapidly privatising the ocean and effectively becoming the sea’s landlord! Shark conservation, as funded by Pew, appears to be greenwash buffering an oil corporation looking to increase their real estate portfolio. It’s a land grab that can be leased, regulated and exploited, if, when, and as they wish, for the benefit of their stock holders. (And they’re fucking all those animal activists and eco-lunatics who promote
their cause! God knows I’m rolling on the floor laughing as I read this!)
If you look at Pew’s stock holdings, they’re not fisheries, they’re energy corporations. An oil corporation ‘greenwashing’ its image through a charitable trust that ‘guides’
conservationists towards an agenda that suits and rewards itself for its philanthropy. I know how much profit these companies make, and how much political influence they wield.
Pew were instrumental in getting George W. Bush to declare the Marianas Trench a National Monument in 2009. It gives NOAA, (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), “primary responsibility for managing fishery-related activities”. Naturally Pew have their people inside NOAA, so the fox is presumably guarding the hen house. (Now we all know the Bush White House wasn’t eco-friendly but his involvement in Big Oil is legendary! It was one of his last executive orders he signed before leaving
The ocean is being divvied up behind our backs. Public resources falling into ‘private’ hands, with a marine protection area here, and a shark sanctuary there. (Maybe oil exploration and an oil platform too).
Google ‘Palau EEZ’ and the first hit is www.seaaroundus.org. You’ll see the Pew Charitable Trust logo top right of the screen. And the Palau Shark Sanctuary is one of those 85 NGOs in the Shark Alliance under Pew’s umbrella.
Then there’s the Chagos Marine Protected Area. I emailed the Chagos Conservation Trust to ask if there’d been a survey of the MPA seabed. Secretary Simon E. Hughes replied;
“I am pretty sure that no such surveys or anything like it has been carried out ever. Access is strictly controlled.” (Now why would a survey be needed to protect sharks?)
His closing comment was, “May I enquire what your interest is?”
Needless to say within 48 hours I had a survey of the Chagos MPA seabed from the National Oceanographic Centre in Southampton. (Oh what a tangled web we weave when we try to deceive. Might this investigative reporter Howard Sawyer been uncovering things best kept from the public.)
The oceans are being carved up, and we either don’t know, or don’t care, that someone is taking advantage of our ignorance or naivety. All of this appears to be done under the veiled assumption that it’s all about ‘saving the shark’ from the Chinese.(Oh,
really?) It’s estimated that 25% of the planet’s oil and gas resources are under the sea bed. Someone is going to extract it sooner or later. The question is; who in shark conservation knew what the underlying agenda was?
Going back through The Shark Trust accounts, “mapping activities” have been carried out for Pew / Shark Alliance since 2008.
Conservationists are so passionate about saving sharks that the funding and resources Pew brought to the table were simply irresistible.
PRINTED WITH PERMISSION BY HOWARD SAWYER 10-8-11
Sharkman of Cortez here:
I attended a protest aimed at the National Marine fisheries in St. Petersburg a few months back and many signs in the crowd read, PEW—Something stinks. At the time, I thought this was nothing more than a play on words. That all the eco-propaganda was funded by
animal kooks and PETA freaks.
Thanks to a real investigative reporter intent on getting the truth I now get the entire
picture. It’s really about greed, power and of course Green Money. Those conservation
hypocrites will do their spin, they’ll probably claim the above story is
bullshit. But the computer is a wonderful tool. Google search for yourself; the
facts are public record. No self-respecting fisherman, commercial or otherwise would
EVER support offshore “energy exploration” (drilling). The cost is too devastating.
An ocean with less sharks—no problem. But an ocean covered with OIL?? Remember
what I said about those two-legged land sharks – oil company CEO’s and the ones
from the Save the Shark NGO’s – they’ll eat each other in a mass feeding-frenzy
while they fornicate the public. Hell, they‘ve got the whole country
brainwashed. We’ll all lose!
Remember the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, or howabout what BP has done to our Gulf Coast. Those eco-systems will never be the same. And everyone is worried about a few sharks?
IT’S ALL ABOUT OIL.
Captain Bill Goldschmitt