[Coral-List] Atlantis Dubai whale shark

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 13 09:43:58 EDT 2008

  If I may assert another opinion into this discussion: When I first became aware of the Georgia aquarium's plans to include whale sharks in their exhibit I had some concerns, but was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and hoped for positive results like promoting public awareness and research for the species. My perspective shifted abruptly when they introduced a daily swim and dive program, especially considering that they had already lost two of the original whale sharks on display. I decided at that point that there were better ways of creating public awareness and that this was not a prudent approach. Subsequent articles that I have read stressed that the aquarium needs to bring in new and dramatic species on a regular basis in order to keep attendance up. (Hence their current plans to introduce a large dolphin exhibit.) I can't help but conclude that this impacted their decision to sell swim and diving encounters with the whale sharks in the first place. May!
 be the Georgia aquarium was simply
 designed on a scale that isn't viable without blurring the science oriented aquarium concept with that of a theme park? I admit that I have an adversity to seeing pelagic species being held in captivity and believe that there are better ways to promote these issues in the public domain. I recognize my personal biases. It just doesn't seem logical to combine serious scientific research and public access to captive whale sharks, but I'm just a professional diver without accredited research experience. The situation in Dubai seems related in the fact that there seems to be a general acceptance of these practices and therefore we should expect proliferation.

Steve Mussman
sealab at earthlink.net
EarthLink Revolves Around You.

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