President Trump’s frequent trips during the winter to his Florida property, Mar-a-Lago, sparked protests from nearby residents, ethics watchdogs and some elected officials.
But here’s something that’s mostly escaped public attention: The trips are also bad for sharks.
Blacktip sharks are seen migrating along the southeast Florida coast. (Stephen M. Kajiura)
Granted, Trump has expressed his distaste for sharks more than once, so he probably wouldn’t lose sleep over disrupting research on the ocean’s top predator. On July 4, 2013, he fired off multiple tweets denigrating the ancient species, writing, “Sharks are last on my list — other than perhaps the losers and haters of the World!”
Stephen M. Kajiura, a professor of biological sciences at Florida Atlantic University, has conducted an aerial survey for the past seven years to record the abundance and migration patterns of blacktip sharks.
The aerial surveys involve a low flying plane that takes off from an airport included in the no-fly zone activated when President Trump is in Mar-a-Lago.
“He has no idea that he’s doing it, but it does mean a significant reduction,” Kajiura said, hastening to add that he’s “not complaining” but does believe it represents the first time there has been “a direct imposition on data collection by a visiting president.”
Because the president traveled to the property seven times over the course of his first 11 weeks in office, it reduced the number of surveys that the marine biologist could take during that period by one-third.
It was summer holiday time in the wild West Highlands of Scotland, and while his assistants continued to work, Algy had been enjoying that most fashionable of all types of holiday - a “staycation”…
Of course, it is well known that those who take their holidays on the west coast of Scotland must expect uncertain weather, and this year had been no exception to that rule. But between the cold, grey, wet and misty days there had been some days of glorious sunshine, and on these Algy delighted in reclining on a rock in his own personal garden by the sea, watching the other holidaymakers making merry on the beach or messing about in boats…
If you are enjoying your summer holidays just now - whether at home or away - Algy hopes that you are having a wonderful time :)