Category: Marine Conservation

Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine #304

I’m thrilled to have my artwork, ‘Message in a Bottle’ featured in the print edition of Resurgence and Ecologist magazine, issue #304 ‘Together We Are Stronger’. The illustration accompanyies an article ‘Trusting and Cultivating in the Wild’ which can be found here.

"We must turn away from destruction and reclaim our future", says Vandana Shiva.

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Empty The Tanks 2017

I joined the annual protest against dolphins and other animals in captivity, alonside members from Bite Back and Sea Shepherd

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Empty The Tanks 2016

Bite Back and Sea Shepherd represented the international Empty The Tanks protest in Bruges yesterday, which took place simultaneously at more than 60 locations in 22 countries.

We met at Bruges Station and marched to the dolphinarium at Boudewijn Seapark, where we formed a 100 strong human chain around the enclosure during a show.

22 crosses were displayed to represent each dolphin that has died at the dolphinarium.

The dolphins are forced to perform unnatural tricks (with their human trainers standing on the tips of their nose..?!) in return for food. Sea Lions are also a part of the circus.

7 dolphins remain cramped in a tiny indoor tank, with no direct sunlight.

Please do not support animal abusement parks and take your kids to the beach instead!

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Ocean Lifeline Exhibition – New York

I was really honoured to be invited by Ocean Lifeline to exhibit my Hammerhead Shark Illustration at an exhibition and joint after party for Quicksilver Pro surf competition at The Keeley Art Gallery in New York.

The shark , taken from my Playing With Nature series of illustrated playing cards, was a part of an ocean conservation exhibition in aid of Ocean Lifeline.

Ocean Lifeline is a not for profit organisation made up of a team of marine conservationists, film makers, underwater videographers, photographers and educators, whos mission is to protect marine-life from environmental harm and human destruction.

Ocean Lifeline is committed to preserve the life of dolphins, whales, sharks, manta rays and marine life through a series of educational research, strategic campaigns and documentaries.

”The ocean’s lifeline is our lifeline. Protect the future!”

On September 15, 2011 Ocean Lifeline and The Keeley Gallery hosted the art benefit to help raise awareness of the shark finning epidemic.

More than 73 million sharks are killed each year to have their fins cut off for the sole purpose of serving Shark Fin Soup. As many as 90% of sharks have disappeared from our oceans and if we don’t act now the ecological chain reaction will be catastrophic.

The “Save Our Sharks!” art benefit featured a silent auction of ocean themed works by artists from around the world, as well as music and entertainment. An open bar was provided by Prairie Organic Vodka and vegan treats courtesy of Angel Milk.

Featured Artists:
Ryan Keeley, Tasso, Max Nova, Rob Appell, Robena, Caz Haigh, Patrick Muñiz, Daniel Feld, Regan Kireilis Helms, Yarden Davis, Jonathan Davis, Kimyon Higgins

On the same evening, Ocean Lifeline hit china town with their ‘Mercury Soup’ posters, an interesting take on Andy Warhols ‘Campbell Soup’ posters.

The ‘Mercury Soup’ posters, detailed the toxicity levels found within shark fin soup and highlighted the various health effects consuming the soup can have. They were pasted up next to restaurants who still have the dish on their menu.

Following Californias proposal to ban shark products, Ocean Lifeline is spearheading the movement to get shark off the menu for New Yorkers.

The amazing flyer for the exhibition is a real photo of a model posing with sharks shot by Todd Essick.

 

Special Performance:
Fire Show by Future & Victor of Flambeaux Fire

Music:
DJ Kimyon– No Agenda NYC, Baryshnikov – Mishka Records,  Holly Nelson – Violin

‘Playing with Nature’, is an on-going project, aimed at raising awareness, and funds for marine wildlife conservation.

Originally, ten sets of playing cards were hand illustrated with sea creatures, including a reef shark, a whale, an octopus, hawksbill turtles, tuna, and a hammerhead shark.

The cards were auctioned to raise funds for a marine wildlife conservation organisation. The auction was really successful, with all proceeds donated directly to the charity. The success of the auction lead me to illustrate more creatures, and raise more funds through various auctions, including an exhibition at The Cube in London, as a part of Emerge 2010 at the London Design Festival.

So far proceeds from the project have been donated to The Marine Conservation Society, The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and PADI Project AWARE.

Sponsors of the Ocean Lifeline exhibition were:
The Keeley Gallery, New York Women in Film & Television, 708 Magazine, Pigeon King, Artists Studios, Prarie Organic Vodka, Angel Milk, Dawn of Man, Flavor Pill, Alternative Apparel, Bueña Vista Foto, Munitio, Tasso

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Auction in aid of PADI Project Aware

‘Playing with Nature’ is an ongoing project featuring hand illustrated playing cards which are auctioned online to raise awareness and funds for marine wildlife conservation charities.

At least 6 million tones of debris enter the world’s oceans each year, causing widespread devastation to wildlife and the environment.

Over the years, profits from this project have been donated to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and PADI Project Aware and.

Every year,  International Clean Up Day hosted by Project AWARE, in partnership with Ocean Conservancy’s International Costal Costal Clean Up raise awareness about the effects of pollution in our oceans.

During International Clan Up Day, Project AWARE divers in more than 100 counties document every item found underwater to help prevent the marine debris epedemic affecting our planet.

A set of my illustrated playing cards  were displayed at The Cube, London, as a part of Emerge 2010, at the London Design Festival, and at The Keeyley Gallery in New York as a part of Ocean Lifelines charity event in 2011.

Please visit the Project AWARE site for more information about their work.

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Sharkwater Premiers in Hong Kong

I’m extremely happy to see that Sharkwater will premiere in Hong Kong on the 7th of June, in time for World Oceans Day  2010.

The film documents renegade conservationist and living legend Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and film-maker, Rob Stewart battle poachers, flee from gunboats, get caught up in corrupt court systems and face attempted murder charges, in a brave effort to uncover the shocking truth behind the trade in shark fins.

Stewart explains how these magnificent creatures have gone from predator to prey, and presents us with shocking statistics indicating that shark populations will be wiped out within a few years, if people carry on their greedy pursuit for lucrative shark fins. Every year, tens of millions of sharks die because of finning. Finning is the inhumane practice of hacking off the shark’s fins and throwing the body back into the sea while it is still alive. The sharks starve to death, are eaten alive by other fish, or slowly drown. Terrified and in excruciating pain, sharks can survive up to 3 weeks after being finned. Their fins are being “harvested” in ever greater numbers to feed the growing demand for shark fin soup, an Asian “delicacy”.

Shark finning is a part of a wider problem of over-fishing which needs to be brought to the attention of the global community quickly, before populations are depleted world wide. The End of the Line is another fantastic documentary highlighting the effects of over-fishing in the worlds oceans and I would recommend anyone to watch the documentary as it’s extremely eye-opening and will make you think twice about where your next purchase of sea food comes from! The documentary strongly advises that we only consume fish from sustainable sources in order to let depleting fish stocks replenish.

I was born and raised in Hong Kong, and was exposed to the immoral practices of the fishing industry there at a young age. In many restaurants you can hand pick the rarest and most beautiful species of sea life alive and then have it served fresh to your table. The premiere in Hong Kong  is a huge step in the right direction to raising awareness about the issue, as Asia is the largest consumer of shark fin products. Shark fin soup is a popular dish served as a status symbol, and the cartilidge from the fin is ground down to make ‘healing remedies’ – which ironically, do more harm than good when consumed, as the cartilage is contaminated with high levels of poisonous mercury.

The Hong Kong premiere, hosted by EcoVision Asia will debut in Cantonese. It has already been shown in Taiwan in mandarin – one step closer to mainland China. Sharing the film with Chinese audiences is an important step to spreading awareness about the devastating effect of the shark fin industry and its effect on ocean conservation.

“If people knew what was going on – that their consumption of this delicacy was causing the demise of one of the oldest, most important predators the planet has, and that this is going to mean a big problem for people; I hope they would make more effective decisions, and the demand for shark fin would decline.” – Rob Stewart.

I saw the documentary in my current home of Sheffield, U.K and also saw the Thailand premiere at Big Blue Diving School in Koh Tao. Both occasions left me with an overwhelming sense of responsibility to do something about the problem. If you haven’t seen the documentary, please watch it, and spread the word.

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