Wednesday, March 14, 2012
National Geographic Peddles Tuna
"What we did to the Buffalo on land is what we are doing to the tuna in the oceans," said Carl Safina.
Calm, clear, and concise is how Safina, marine conservation guru, gives us the reality of bluefin tuna in a short video clip.
The video clip appears on the National Geographic web site where they say they are: inspiring people to care about the planet. I've always enjoyed much of their work but their new show about bluefin tuna questions where their inspiration lies. To the cynical, placing the pro-conservation bluefin tuna clip on their site is to defray criticism of their new show.
The new show is about hunting bluefin tuna off Massachusetts. It will likely inspire people to forget about nature and go for the adrenalin rush, and the cash to be paid for such a rare -- as in endangered -- fish.
Just like Shark Week on Discovery channel, these shows do more harm than good, feeding into the bloodlust for the animal. As the bluefin tuna staggers on the edge of extinction, it is the kind of sensationalism that can strike the coup de grace.
The excellent online news magazine, Deep Sea News, covers what National Geographic is doing in a great post. National Geographic says they will be talking up conservation including fishing quotas on the show but as one commenter on Deep Sea News noted, most people will see the pictures and the exciting action but will not hear what's being said.
It's only a matter of time before everyone and their brother is out gunning for the endangered fish. It will invariably increase the demand for tuna and that is the last thing that healthy oceans need.
I would like to believe that the show will raise awareness and spur action to help save the tuna but I just do not see it. Hopefully, it will never get off the ground, no offense to the conservation-minded fishermen of Gloucester.
The whole thing is another sad example of humanity, starting with how we got to this point in the first place.
Check out Carl Safina's crisp, short video.