here's what I think... very long

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Posted by stephen clark on July 02, 2005 at 15:33:21:

Just finished writing a mission statement for my underwater production company...

We already know the oceans are in trouble... the problem is that we don't care. I want to make people care. The medieval notion that all creatures were put on this earth solely for man's use and abuse is still pervasive throughout the world. With my marine footage I hope to inspire a deeper connection between humans and sea beings which has never been acknowledged or recognized. I hope to facilitate getting audiences to feel a kinship with these animals... after all, we share some of the same struggles; survival, eating, finding a mate, bearing young, putting up with our neighbors, etc... We've been raiding the cookie jar for too long and our children are going to pay the price with empty poisoned seas which won't sustain them or their children. My aim is to produce imagery and commentary powerful enough, not only to change people's perceptions of the value of marine life... but maybe even help them to fall in love with the lovely and intriguing creatures which live and cavort beneath the mysterious veil of sea water. Not to dwell on how many tons of by-catch are thrown away every day, but to highlight what is interesting, hopeful, and beautiful. How can you see a Flamboyant Cuttlefish and not feel that sea creatures are too wonderful to just massacre? I'd like to help inspire a global, intelligent, and reciprocal cooperation with the ocean. We can no longer remain divorced from the ways we procure our sea food. We have to be in the loop as the final consumer and demand that fisheries are managed more intelligently and compassionately.

What's it going take to get commercial fishermen and even sport anglers to get the message that this feeding frenzy on Mother Ocean has gone on too long? I think a bold question from their own informed children may be the only thing that will force them to take a closer look at the big picture... the one that includes their child's future on this blue planet. I believe this one incident might help to stop them from bottom trawling, gill netting, Cyaniding, dynamite fishing, and by-catching our oceans to death.

Most of the seas are not protected or well managed. The ocean has been a garbage dump/money tree for too long and at this rate it will no longer sustain itself, let alone future billowing populations of "us". I want to make the case that fish and other oceanic creatures do not exist for the sole purpose of feeding humanity, our pets, fertilizing our gardens, and providing a splash of color in the living room. We need to treat this resource with more care and respect. As it is hard to respect what you do not know or understand, it is imperative to bring to light the fantastic array of unique beings we are hauling out of the oceans en masse before throwing 75% of them back... dead! This is an insane way to treat the larger organism that sustains all life.

I challenge the need for the wholesale slaughter of entire populations of ocean creatures without regard for the sea's complex and millenniums old balancing act of organisms comprising the food chain. It's all about us and how much money we can make, never about the overall wellness of the very ecosystem that sustains us all. I was at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA watching a Giant Pacific Octopus display itself by spreading its tentacles across the entire window of its enclosure. As I experienced a moment of awe and appreciation an overweight woman in front of me pointed to it and told her chubby son, "We eat those." That was all she said to him.

I will try to advance my point of view via beautiful marine footage... create an homage to the great and wonderful creatures that share this planet with us. Because... there is more value to sea life than, "we eat those".
Stephen Clark Lamzo Productions

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