[Coral-List] Air Guns on Social Media

Eugene Shinn eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
Wed Apr 29 14:17:56 EDT 2015

The request for marine scientists to participate in a social media 
campaign to stop seismic surveys was certainly an attention getter. One 
must wonder if this is a proper use of social media? Readers are 
certainly aware that Social Media has been effective for creating flash 
mobs and riots (Baltimore riots?). One may wonder if responsible 
scientists will loose credibility by becoming involved in this kind of 
activity? I admit to being biased because about 40 years ago I filmed a 
seismic air gun firing from about 12 ft. away.As a mammal I am not aware 
that I suffered any harm, however, some readers will surely say that’s 
what is wrong with me.Of course any plankton, fish larvae, or clam 
larvae in close vicinity (say a few meters) are bound to be affected 
just as they would from outboard motor propellers or those giant 
propellers pushing cruise ships or closer to home; scientific research 
vessels? Where is the hard data that whales and turtles are harmed when 
they are thousands of feet away from the event? Have there been any 
controlled experiments? As a marine scientist I would hesitate to sign 
any activist letters purporting to represent reliable data. There is 
nothing new here. This anti exploration campaign has been going on ever 
since the industry switched from explosives to airguns. Are the signers 
aware that seismic survey vessels have long been required to transport 
and pay for marine mammal and turtle observers that have authority to 
stop seismic activity if any are spotted? It might be smart for 
scientists to shy away from any NGO sponsored activities that may have 
financial or dubious political motives. Doing so might harm your 
research opportunities in the future. On the other hand it might get you 
a grant. If you get a grant I hope it is to do a publishable controlled 
experiment. Gene


No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
College of Marine Science Room 221A
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158
---------------------------------- -----------------------------------

More information about the Coral-List mailing list