Ron Sandland recently wrote about the new phenomenon of 'big data' - weighing up the benefits and concerns. Terry Speed reflected on the same issue in a talk earlier this year inGothenburg, Sweeden noting that this is nothing new to statisticians. So what's all the fuss about? Here's another take on the 'big data' bandwagon.
Fish with lesions in Port Phillip Bay - so should we dredge?
A number of fish species caught in the north-western portion of Port Phillip Bay have been observed to have lesions. While the cause is currently under investigation it is unlikely that, as has been suggested in some quarters, that it has anything to do with the recent heat wave &/or drought conditions. An outbreak of Pilchard Herpesvirus (PHV) was responsible for a similar situation along the Australian and New Zealand coastlines in 1995 and 1998. Melanie Crockford concluded in her 2007 PhD thesis that the PHV virus is now endemic in the Australian pilchard population with an estimated 13.75% of this species infected. So - what's the link with dredging? Most certainly nothing at this point in time since dredging has yet to commence. Should dredging be delayed while the causes are investigated? From an environmental perspective it would be desirable not to confound these two issues and so a hold on dredging would seem appropriate. However, this is unlikely given the sway that the economic arguments carry.