The Independent’s shark cover story does a grave disservice to both the planet’s dying oceans and their dwindling stocks of large fish such as sharks and tuna. The story embraces a “Jaws”-type mentality and ignores harsh realities.

The article’s quoted expert, for example, states shark populations “might” be recovering. Might. Recovering where exactly? His unconditional, and unexamined, comment promotes the impression of sea life bounty and plentiful marauding predators. Wow. Look at that heroic diver and those hearty fishermen. And be scared.

One unexamined reality? According to world-renowned marine biologist Sylvia Earle, profiled in November’s Outside magazine, large ocean predator populations have declined 90 percent — repeat, 90 percent — in the past 70 years. Also, due to poaching and overfishing, swordfish, cod, tuna, and grouper will soon vanish. “Eating these fish is like eating the last Bengal Tigers,” according to Earle.

Endless rounds of sushi bar gorging? Think again, Independent readers. Independent writers? Stop pursuing sensational, poorly researched cover stories. This feature was as deceptive and misleading as Exxon’s global warming cover-up.

[Editor’s Note: The quoted expert was citing peer-reviewed scientific literature.]


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