Oceans 12 – Award winning photographers support marine environment
Few people are better qualified to inspire the protection of the oceans than the world’s finest underwater photographers and that’s why the UK’s pioneering shark and marine conservation organisation, Bite-Back, turned to them for help.
The result is a remarkable 2010 calendar that combines stunning images and arresting commentary that, Bite-Back, hopes will help motivate a sea-change in attitude for the marine world.
The unique collaboration features breathtaking images of sharks, turtles, rays, eels and whales from 12 internationally acclaimed and award-winning photographers such as David Doubilet, Amos Nachoum, Doug Perrine, Jeff Rotman, Brian Skerry and Michael Aw.
Enthused by Bite-Back's ongoing campaigns to combat over-fishing, coral degradation and marine pollution, the photographers chose favourite images from different corners of the globe including the coastal waters of Hawaii, Tonga, Bahamas, Guadalupe, West Papau, South Africa and Borneo.
Hinting at the urgent need for marine conservation to capture the imagination of the developed world, Jeff Rotman said: “Since the early 1970s I have become a witness to our ever increasing race to empty the oceans. Now, almost 40 years later, we find ourselves in a dangerous situation. We have fished to the point where marine stocks can no longer maintain a reproductive population. In my opinion, it’s way past midnight.”
The project has enormous significance to the marine conservation group, Bite-Back. Its campaign director, Graham Buckingham, said: "Over-fishing is the single biggest threat to the marine environment. By highlighting the issues of over-fishing we’re creating a dialogue with supermarkets, restaurants, chefs and fishmongers to motivate responsible sourcing and ethical retailing. Our goal is simple – to change the nation’s commercial relationship with the marine environment.”
It is a view that is echoed by calendar contributor and underwater cameraman for BBC’s Life series, Roger Munns. He said: “The oceans are a magical place full of beauty and surprises, but now they are under serious threat as human populations continue to grow and destroy the marine environment in pursuit of its many resources.”
Since its launch Bite-Back has motivated supermarkets including ASDA, Sainsbury’s, Somerfield, Tesco and Waitrose to drop certain threatened species such as shark, swordfish, marlin, monkfish and orange roughy. Its campaigns have also seen Holland & Barratt stop selling shark cartilage capsules and the world’s only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant, Hakkasan, stop selling shark fin soup.
Graham Buckingham said: “Bite-Back’s ambition to defend the high seas by changing the high street is working and soon there will come a time when we’ll look back in shame that these fish ever appeared on supermarket shelves or restaurant menus.”
Bite-Back’s 2010 calendar can be ordered online for just £7.99 (+ p&p) via bite-back.com .