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Marine Life & Conservation Blogs

Celebs join call to protect UK seas and wildlife

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While I absolutely applaud the work of The Blue Marine Foundation,  I do have to question the latest publicity shoot involving Helena Bonham Carter.

The mission statement from the foundation states ‘The active and effective protection of 10% of the world’s oceans by 2020, delivered through a network of marine reserves and private sector-led solutions in the sea.’ The foundation is very well supported and I fully hope many more people from all walks of life will join and support them.

Helena article (2)Back to the photo call with Helena. What is that picture trying to say? As Photos are usually the main hook to articles and campaigns I was dismayed to see Helena posing naked with a ‘dead’ 27kg Tuna. Who was this image actually trying to reach? A naked lady and a dead fish? Rather than seeing a very attractive lady in the buff, all I saw was a naked woman hugging a cold dead fish between her legs which after a few seconds of interest actually made me feel slightly concerned that Helena had a good bath afterwards. And what on earth was she saying to it? Must have been very uncomfortable for her, as for the dead Tuna. What message was that portraying? Tuna are incredible fish when alive. Fast, powerful, sleek, a wonder of evolution. Was this really the best use of such a majestic animal?

I can only imagine the people who designed this photo shoot were trying to grab public attention to the main article and thrust of the campaign. Didn’t do it for me. However I implore you to go past the photo and look at the real aims of the foundation and give them your full support: www.bluemarinefoundation.com/frontpage-article/5892/

Share your thoughts on this with us on our forum pages here.

Jeff Goodman is the Conservation editor and also the Underwater Videography Editor for Scubaverse.com. Jeff is an award winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

Marine Life & Conservation

Review: My Octopus Teacher

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Regular contributors, CJ & Mike from Bimble in the Blue, review the Netflix documentary: My Octopus Teacher

My Octopus Teacher is the story of how filmmaker Craig Foster befriends a common octopus in the kelp forests off of the Cape Town coast.  Mike and I love to watch all things underwater and nature-based and so eagerly sat down to this documentary film, a new September arrival on Netflix.

Watch the trailer here:

After burning out at work Foster finds fascination and a deep connection with nature when spending time freediving at his favourite local spot.  In a sequence familiar to those who watched the “Green Seas” episode of Blue Planet 2, he comes across an octopus camouflaging itself with shells.  With his curiosity piqued, he begins to seek out the octopus on all of his dives, finding delight in its seemingly strange behaviours, learning what he can from the scientific literature and slowing working to gain the mollusc’s trust on his daily visits to her world.

My Octopus Teacher portrays a very anthropomorphised view of our subject and Foster’s relationship with her.  His conclusions tend to be more emotional than scientific and his eagerness to find similarities between himself and the octopus shows a great sentimentality.  However, you cannot help but be captivated by the incredible mutual curiosity and bond developing before you.  This relationship, and the stunning scenes of the kelp forest with its diverse inhabitants make for a deeply absorbing viewing experience.  There is some fantastic cephalopod behaviour, from the octopus adapting her hunting tactics for different prey, to strategies for outwitting predators and incredible colour and shape morphology.  Foster is also keen to point out how little we know about octopuses and that there is a great opportunity to learn something with every dive.

One of my favourite observations made by Foster at the end of the film is that by going into the water for liberation from daily life’s concerns and dramas, he realised how precious these wild places are.  As he starts to care about all the animals there, even the most minuscule, he comes to find that each one is both important and vulnerable.  Foster finds that his relationship with the octopus changes him and he feels a part of the kelp forest rather than just a visitor, an experience he then shares with his son.  To me Foster’s insight that we must connect with an environment in order to be truly motivated to protect it resonated very strongly.  For those fortunate enough to fall in love with our wilder environments and connect with them, seeing it mirrored in this documentary is quite moving.

Overall we very much enjoyed the film, especially the weird and wonderful behaviours caught on screen and the story as it unfolds.  Though our first reaction was one of pure jealousy (that Foster has such a stunning local dive spot and coastal property!) we soon moved past the envy and found My Octopus Teacher to be a very relaxing and enjoyable evening’s entertainment, which we highly recommend.

For more from CJ and Mike please visit their website here.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Paul Rose about the ‘For The Love of Sharks’ event this Friday (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff talks to Paul Rose about the ‘For The Love of Sharks’, an event being held online by The Shark Trust at 7pm BST on this Friday – 25th September – where Paul is a guest speaker.

You can find out more about the event which also features Scubaverse’s Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown HERE.

Visit The Shark Trust website to book tickets to the event HERE!

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