Yet more environmental tosh, this one around another symbol of conservation - seals. Why is it that the green lobby just cannot count and flagrantly ignore scientific evidence, to the point where the emotional nonsense they spout is discredited by the very research they quote?
50% of the Scottish parliament's token green streak Robin Harper is calling for an end to the shooting of seals around fish farms this morning. He cites research from the SMRU (Sea Mammal Research Unit) to backup his claim that the seal population is declining.
There are so many things wrong around this claim:
First of all and why is he targeting the fish farmers?
"Those flagrant murderers of lovely sea mammals?"
Fish farming came around in response to the green lobby's hysterical insistence that conventional fishing was destroying our wild fish populations, and our need to find alternatives. I suspect that now that it is a commercial business venture, it's fair game for the greens. This is just another example of the knee-jerk rejection of technological solutions to solve environmental problems, whether real or as in this case imagined, and how dare they protect their investment? tut tut!. The environmentalists natural aversion to technology and business shows itself in this.
Read this, interestingly not published by the SMRU as reported, but by the SCOS (Special Commitee on Seals). It is the official definitive study of seal population, and documents that despite the devastating effects of two outbreaks of phocine distemper virus (PDV), largely among harbour seals that occurred in 1988 and 2002, the seal population is in rude health. It's an in-depth 93 page scientific publication that shows quite clearly that estimated seal pup production has increased from 7326 in 1966 to 39727 in 2006. The other tables show a similar increase in populations across the board, I cannot find one set of figures that backs Mr Harpers claims of impending doom. Sure populations have shifted, but the trend is definitely in the "more seals not less" direction.
Robin, stop picking "route of least resistance" publicity seeking press releases and campaigns. You know that with their big eyes and cute faces the general public cannot help themselves; the wholesale anthropomorphising of cute animals is a trademark of our increasingly numerically illiterate and non-scientific society, you know this and are exploiting it for maximum publicity!
Pass me an AK47, i'm off to hunt me some single issue politicians...