My road trip in the United States is well underway. I am currently travelling with the film to raise awareness of the Ross Sea and to alert Americans that their Chilean sea bass doesn’t come from Chile, is not actually sea bass, and could well be contributing to the demise of the last pristine marine ecosystem on Earth. We’ve had sold out screenings in Newport Rhode Island and Mountainfilm in Telluride – the next stop is the Lincoln Centre in New York.
We decided to do this tour because we feel it’s our last real chance to make a difference. In two months time, 25 CCAMLR nations will gather in Bremerhaven, Germany to decide whether or not to establish the world’s largest marine protected area (MPA) in the Ross Sea. After six years of working on this issue we weren’t prepared to watch events unflold from the sideline.
The Last Ocean documentary is our most powerful and effective tool in the campaign to protect the Ross Sea. It provides compelling and powerful arguments and resonates with the North American audience (North America is where most of the Ross Sea Antarctic toothfish catch ends up). At Boulder International Film Festival we won best ‘Call to Action Film’, and in Telluride we were one of the winners in the Moving Mountains category.
In the lead up to Bremerhaven there will be plenty of politicking at a diplomatic level, but it’s important to maintain a presence on the ground as well. We want the politicians know that the public are in the know – and the film is a great way to do that and to maintain our voice which says strong and clear that nothing – not even a sustainable fishery (and that is debatable) justifies destroying the natural balance of the Ross Sea.
The joint proposal being put forward to CCAMLR by New Zealand and the United States still allows for continued commercial fishing and is a major compromise to the level of protection we think the Ross Sea deserves. While it falls short in many ways, it is however an important first step in protecting the Ross Sea and will provide a platform on which to build. It’s important that our view is represented at Bremerhaven. When nations begin horse trading over the finer details of this MPA, someone needs to be reminding them of the bigger picture and the importance of the Ross Sea in global terms. That’s what this trip is about.
After self-funding a great deal of this film and campaign from our base in NZ, we don’t have a lot of ‘rattle left in the tin’, so, we are seeking funds for this final push to Bremerhaven through you guys – our Last Ocean Community. Over the past seven years we’ve never really asked for funds, but we feel that this last effort is important and are doing so now. If you would like to support the trip please visit our page on the Indiegogo website.
We will work for protection of the Ross Sea as far as our funding takes us – and hopefully that is all the way to Germany. I would like to bring my partner Tracy with me as we have been working on this the Last Ocean together since day one.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and if you feel inclined – act now and support us before your busy day takes over!