People protect what they love.  All of you that love

the sea help us protect her…”

Jacques Yves Cousteau

Our General World View
(regarding ocean conservation)
We believe that the world’s oceans are under stress and its creatures populations are, in general, decreasing.  This is based on direct observation over 30yrs underwater, personal study and involvement in conservation efforts.  We believe as divers we have a unique responsibility to protect that which gives us so much joy. 

 

Sport and commercial fishing operations can be responsibly maintained for generations to come.  I (Martin) put myself through college by working in the salmon processing plants of Dillingham, Alaska.  Due to environmental conditions and the fishing industries increasing technological efficiencies many fish populations are on the brink of disaster.  To insure the survival of a sustainable, long term fishing industry draconian steps must be taken.  The painful reality is many will loose jobs today so a few can continue to work in the future.  We can no longer treat fish stock like livestock that we breed.  Action must be taken NOW to give stocks a chance to replenish.

Add to this ocean acidification and the floating garbage patches and one wonders how much longer the seas, as we have known them, can survive.  Clearly you dive because you love the oceans.  You capture them in pixels because you want to share your wonder with others.  But are you willing to take part in protecting them?

 

If divers want to effect change we must first have our own house in order.  The leap we will make applies to a small sub community that we admit in the big picture has a miniscule effect on the ocean and its creatures.  Diving photographers should be held to a higher standard.  Diving photographers should lead in preserving those creatures and environments that we go to so much effort and expense to capture in stills and video. 

 

Our Guidelines to Nature Photography
1.   Always try to minimize my impact on the subject.
2.  We will not move, handle, coax, restrict or prod any animal to capture an image.
3.  We will not move, handle or disturb any coral or other structure to get a “better” photo of a subject.
4.  We will be very conscious of buoyancy in an attempt to avoid coming in contact with the reef or bottom.
5.  Only one finger on the reef (dead section) to capture a photo.*  If this is not possible than we will forgo the image.
6.  If we see a fellow diver harming the reef or its creature intentionally or by accident we will no longer keep silent.  We will try with as much tact as possible to raise the subject of protecting that which we have all come to SEE!
7.  We will let any dive guides know that we do not look for them to manipulate in any way the creatures and settings they have found for us. 

*there are rare occasions at specific locations were using more than one finger or use of even a reef hook can be used.  But again not at the risk of damaging any living coral or like structure.

 

Links

SharkSavers.org
http://www.sharksavers.org/en/home


The Imaging Foundation

http://www.imagingfoundation.org
One issue they are trying to focus on is the protection of Cocos and Malpelo Islands, Costa Rica.  These are World Heritage sites that have 24mile no fishing zone in place.  The problem is getting the Costa Rican government to enforce it.  A big issue is the influx of money from Taiwan, legal and illegally, to keep the shark fining industry going.

 

The Seattle Aquarium

http://www.seattleaquarium.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=183&srcid=-2
Like many I (Martin) had mixed views about Aquariums and Zoos.  Now as a volunteer diver for the Aquarium I am convinced they provide a crucial roll in getting people emotional connected to the seas and their inhabitants.   In addition there is a great deal of valuable research done by the committed staff. 

  

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