Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How much is Patagonia profiting off of World Trout conservation t-shirt sales?

Something is fishy about the Patagonia world trout conservation effort.  I'm not doubting that the money goes to good causes or the good intentions behind the idea but something is just not adding up.  I saw the link years ago for the World trout golden trout t-shirt.  I really wanted to help so I clicked and saw that the t-shirt was $35 and $5 goes to support golden trout conservation efforts.  I thought that was a little steep for a t-shirt and decided to donate to Caltrout instead.  I don't need another t-shirt and that way they get more than $5.  I let it slide didn't think too much about why the t-shirt from Patagonia was $35.  Again, another link to the same conservation t-shirts and I was reminded again that the shirt was $35.  Okay, now I was a little confused.  It sunk in and I started wondering where the other $30 goes????  I looked up organic cotton t-shirts in bulk maybe $5 probably less with the order size Patagonia can make.  Printing with environmentally responsible inks maybe another $5? I really have no idea but I bet that is an overestimation.  Then there is warehousing and design etc per shirt- who knows- I bet Patagonia pays their people pretty well so maybe add another $5 a per shirt?  So now we have a shirt that costs Patagonia about $15 to make, market (blogs probably do most of the marketing on the conservation t-shirt for free) and design.  I really don't know much about the business but that seems like a lot per shirt I bet its actually around $7 or so but who knows I'll round up.  $5 for conservation, $15 for production costs for a $35 shirt.  That leaves $15 for pure Patagonia profit.  Should a company make 3x the profit off a shirt they are marketing as a conservation t-shirt?  I hope someone at Patagonia explains this to me and it makes sense but that is absolutely not okay if they are making that much money off a t-shirt that I am buying to support a cause.  My advice is to skip their Patagucci t-shirt and just give money directly to the cause you support until they have some answers about how much they are making off of their "conservation effort."

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sean Parker tells us that Central California Steelhead trout are not endangered

Redwood creek in the Muir Woods, CA.  Redwood creek has native Steelhead trout.  

A recent post over at the Trout Underground talks about some pretty uninformed garage that came out of Sean Parker's mouth while defending his super extravagant wedding.  I really have no intrest in reading anything Sean Parker has to say but since it was on a site I read religiously I happend upon it.  The gist of the wedding fiasco was that a hotel in California is in close proximity to a redwood forest and a creek that has supported spawning of the endangered California steelhead trout. In order for the wedding to take place Parker paid $2.5 million in fines to California Game and Fish.  I've been trying to wrap my head around why there would just be a fine instead of just not letting the event take place but I guess the money fined would be enough to cover any dammage the Game a Fish department foresaw happening.  The way I see it is he just parked in a handicap spot; you aren't supposed to do that incase someone needs that close spot but if you do you will get fined.  Parker basically is that jackass that pulls in right up front in the handicap spot and can afford the fine and he thinks he is entitled to the spot.

The other part of the Underground post talks about how Sean Parker figured this whole endangered species problem out with a simple google search.  Apparently, lots of media type people were pretty harsh in how they depicted Parker's wedding so he responded.  Here's the quote from Parker:

"Then there was this question of a certain fish, the “steelhead trout,” that was purportedly threatened by our wedding preparation. The media reported that this fish was an “endangered” species whose spawning ground was a creek near our wedding site. Yet a simple Google query of “steelhead trout” reveals that this fish is not, as the media had reported, a truly “endangered” species, but rather a fancy variant of the common “rainbow trout” that is abundant across North America — so abundant, in fact, that it is sometimes considered a pest species. (The steelhead, like salmon, travels upstream and spends its life in the ocean. This variant of the rainbow trout has seen its populations fall in some areas of California where it is protected, but it’s hardly the endangered species the press made it out to be. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation reports that rainbow trout is “not at risk of extinction.”

I don't even know where to start.... A "fancy" varient of rainbow trout?  This guy is supposed to be smart or something right?   The problem is these fish are not endangered everywhere so it is hard for people to understand that the specific fish that has the specific genes that allowed it to adapt to the drier and warmer than average California spawning areas Is endangered.   You can't just put back stocker "rainbow trout" in post creek and expect successfully spawning steelhead runs in ten years.  Once the fish are gone from Post creek and other creeks like it in California they will be gone forever.  The genetic makeup that allows for their success in that environment will be gone.  Look at the variation in humans; we are all Homo sapiens but sherpas sure are better suited than I am to climb Mt. Everest.    He googled it though so, you know, he has to be right.  Search for more than what you want to find and maybe you can come close to understanding the issue.  In case you are as upset about this as I am here are all the ways I can find to not support Sean Parker.

He is a partner in the venture firm Founders Fund.  Here are the companies that they support:

 If you want to learn more about Steelhead trout and their conservation check out