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The Side Show of Snorkel Bob

By Leonard Ho - Posted Sep 11, 2012 09:00 AM
Robert Wintner (AKA 'Snorkel Bob') has published two anti-aquarium commentaries on Sea Shepherd's website. Par for his course, Wintner employs demagoguery and FUD (of course with absolutely no data) in his attack against aquarists.
The Side Show of Snorkel Bob

Robert Wintner

As I sit here typing out this post, I admit I am extremely tempted to write a snarky parody of the Sea Shepherd commentaries.  Then I realized I really couldn't pen anything more absurd and irrational than Robert Wintner's own words.

Here is Part One and Part Two of Wintner's "The Dark Hobby Dedux."  Watch out for:

  • Reductio ad hitlerum (Yes, Nazis somehow make their way into his argument)
  • Argumentum ad populum
  • Attacking anyone (Argumentum ad hominem) whose opinion differs from his - such as the Governor of Hawaii, HI's Director of Natural Resources, scientists, et al.
  • Mockingly putting factual terms in parentheses (e.g. "biologist")
  • Describing the aquarium wholesale industry as "trafficers" akin  to drug or human trafficers
  • Bizarre commentaries about female aquarists


Comically enough, Robert Wintner writes at one point during his rant against the aquarium trade: "Anecdotal evidence is not data. It's emotional."  The aquarium trade's position is supported by data from IUCN, DLNR, and other scientific institutions while Wintner provides absolutely no data.

Robert Wintner is the founder of Snorkel Bob, a dive operator and shop.  Wintner serves on the Sea Shepherd Board of Advisors.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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