[Coral-List] Air Guns on Social Media

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Sat May 2 17:15:03 EDT 2015


It only took me a few minutes on the Oceana website to find a whole list of
articles about air guns.


Including this report, which has lots of references to peer-reviewed papers
and to government reports:


A google search on "air guns marine mammals" gets lots of hits, including
many peer-reviewed publications, and industry publications.

I would concur that people who want to decide whether or not to sign such a
petition should study up on the subject.  But you seem to be telling other
people to study up on it, without having studied up on it yourself.
 (Disclosure: I haven't studied up on it, and so won't be taking any
positions on it until or unless I do.)

You call for peer-reviewed papers on the topic, and there are lots, yet you
haven't taken the time to look for them.  You present an interesting
anecdote, but you haven't published it in a peer-reviewed publication.  You
want others to do publishable controlled experiments and publish their
findings in peer-reviewed publications, but want to present yours as an
unpublished anecdote with no controlled experiments.

We ask that students do their own homework.  You don't appear to have done
your homework before posting this message, and you're a retired professor.
Should we expect as much from professors as from students?

You talk about your bias because you filmed an air gun in use 40 years
ago.  Should you also remind people that you used to work for an oil
company and that air guns are used to search for oil and gas?

You say that "It might be smart for scientists to shy away from any NGO
sponsored activities that may have financial or dubious political motives."
 Would it be smart for scientists to shy away from any oil company
sponsored activities that may have dubious financial motives?

Isn't "dubious" in the eye of the beholder?  Don't you have a particular
set of views about what constitutes "dubious" and what doesn't?

Cheers,  Doug

On Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 7:17 AM, Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>

> 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
> ---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
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Douglas Fenner
Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

phone 1 684 622-7084

"belief in climate change is optional, participation is not."

Politics, science, and public attitudes: What we're learning, and why it
matters.  Science Insider, open access.


Homeopathy ineffective, study confirms.


website:  http://independent.academia.edu/DouglasFenner

blog: http://ocean.si.edu/blog/reefs-american-samoa-story-hope

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