Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rosie Opportunity?

Maybe there are bigger fish to fry than Rosie O'Donnell but there is a lot of coverage of her recent shark killing incident. In the end, it could be a golden opportunity for ocean conservation.

Rosie went fishing in Miami with a "legendary shark hunter" and caught a massive hammerhead.  From the image of the beautiful animal hanging lifeless from a large hook surrounded by Rosie and her smiling kids, it looks to be at least twelve feet long.

Since sharks are threatened or endangered, Rosie has been getting heat online. Anyway killing one like that and displaying it with your smiling family simply sends the wrong message.  A message that more people will see because she's Rosie O'Donnell.

Another celebrity behaving badly. Move on.  But it gets interesting when Rosie tries to defend herself.  She is quoted as saying some odd things:

"Y don't u worry about commercial fishing where the slaughter by the thousands." She said on Twitter, according to the Sun Sentinel.

I am concerned about commercial fishing, all the time hoping it's sustainable.  I am also concerned about hundreds of millions of sharks killed for soup each year. But that's not the point.

The point is it's not one fish, two fish, who fish.  It's the message you are sending of hunting and killing these magnificent creatures and displaying them for all to see.  It feeds into the bloodlust for sharks, and the theme of conquering nature rather than living connected to it.  It is not a great lesson for your kids and it is not a great lesson for your fans.  It is even worse for sharks.

She also said: "We were not going after any species in particular - u catch what u catch - and it wasn't endangered til 11 days ago."

Well, you can fish and not kill the catch. And I'm pretty sure by the time the concept of an endangered animal actually makes it into legislation, it has been endangered for quite awhile.  Before seat belt laws, people were still getting killed in accidents by not wearing their seat belts.  But again, it's the message.

"I love the ocean," she also said.

Killing the tigers and lions of the sea for sport is a sad commentary for someone who "loves the ocean".

BUT the title of this post is "Rosie Opportunity" for a reason.  Maybe Rosie feels badly about this whole incident.  Give her the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe she would like to understand more about biomass and apex predators and all the issues of the seas.  She could become one of the oceans' greatest allies;  she says she loves it after all.  Everyone wins in that story, even the sharks who could really use some good news.


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