Topless Mermaid Protestor Misunderstands Scientists

By Patrick Cooney

Mermaids misunderstand scientists that are presenting in hotel behind (source).

In the 1980s box office hit titled Splash, a scientist nearly goes mad while attempting to advance his cause by exploiting a mermaid. As if making a reference to the movie, but in a complete reversal of roles, a topless mermaid took to
the streets of Little Rock, Arkansas last week to advance her cause by exploiting scientists.

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The 143rd Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) convened last week in Little Rock. More than a thousand scientists from around the globe shared more than 700 presentations about ongoing aquatic science projects. Scientists in attendance hailed from Brazil, Canada, England, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Scotland, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, and from all 50 of the United States of America.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) caught wind of the international conference, and in a rush to judgment they set up a small protest of the event to promote the agenda of their organization. PETA often uses dramatic events to promote their message, but the protest was most likely a misunderstanding rather than a disapproval of what AFS scientists represent.

The American Fisheries Society is the oldest and largest professional society for fisheries scientists in the world, and is comprised of over 9,000 members from government agencies, academic institutes, and private industries. AFS scientists advance sound science and disseminate science-based fisheries information for the global protection, conservation, and sustainability of fisheries resources and aquatic ecosystems. AFS and its members support six professional peer-reviewed journals, and hold continuing education classes to promote up-to-date techniques and analyses in the fisheries science profession.

With global fish stocks under immense fishing pressure, perhaps viral protests like the one used by PETA are a way to attract immediate attention. However, considering that AFS has 143 years of experience, maybe the protestors should have come inside to learn how AFS is successfully using real science to support the conservation and sustainability of fish and habitat rather than simply protesting on a sidewalk for a few minutes posing as mythical mermaids.

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7 responses to “Topless Mermaid Protestor Misunderstands Scientists

  1. Remove the quotes.

    Yes, fisheries scientists often kill fish to conduct scientific research. This in no way implies that we want to, and in many cases we actively try not to. For example, until recently if I wanted to assess the potential impacts of a mine on the local food fish (which, btw, is one of the few viable sources of protein in many areas where I work), I would have to kill a bunch of fish and analyze the tissues. Thanks to improved lab processes, I can now conduct the same research using non-lethal tissue plugs. AFS scientists are instrumental in developing and testing new techniques so that others can conduct necessary research without harming the animals they are trying to study.

    Please do more research before you paint all scientists as fish killers. They are doing their part to preserve vital resources.

  2. Not to mention, AFS is without doubt the most organized, coherent, informed, and effective organization in the world at protecting and conserving fish and their habitat.

  3. Forgot to mention credible and respectable. It's hard to take seriously a bunch of uninformed drivel from an echo chamber with a long-standing history of exploiting women's bodies to get attention.

  4. PETA is not an environmental or conservation organization. It is an animal rights organization. Fisheries are necessarily about the interaction between humans and fish that usually results in the death or discomfort of the fish. Their concern is for the fates of individual fish, while fisheries managers and scientists are often most concerned about the sustainability of a fishery at the level of the stock. These are fundamentally different perspectives. The 143 years of collective AFS experience in sustainable fisheries management are irrelevant to an organization concerned about each fishes supposed right to live a life unmolested by hook or net.

  5. Take a biology class and learn how natural selection works and then you'll realize that the killing of a few fish wouldn't affect a local population, let alone the entire species, one iota. And you might actually learn that by killing a few fish to study them, we can better manage and thus conserve a species from extinction.

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