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July 29, 2008

Reflections — Preparing to Depart

BY: Keith Ellenbogen


©OCEANA/ Keith Ellenbogen


“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.”

~ Marshall McLuhan, writer, philosopher and communicator

As I reflect over the past sixty days at sea, on a campaign to protect the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna — our expedition has taken us to new frontiers and depths that have not often been seen. Under the direction of Xavier Pastor, Expedition Leader, we explored the Mediterranean Sea from Spain to Malta to north coast of Africa (Algeria and Libya) as well through the islands of Italy. Throughout the expedition our team has photographed/videographed some of the marine life, healthy and unhealthy, as well as illegal fishing practices. Additionally, we have been researching and sampling populations of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna larvae for further analysis.

Many of my most memorable images I photographed were in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea — as our team dove along, inside and under a cage filled with Atlantic Bluefin Tuna accelerating past our bodies to document one of the worlds most spectacular marine animals from collapse due to over fishing techniques.

Throughout the past two months — we achieved giant strides on a path that is unfortunately miles long — with many challenging obstacles ahead. While the future of the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna remains uncertain, our campaign has been successful in reaching the mass media, persuading governments to implement legislation that will help stop over fishing and illegal fishing practices of the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna and other pelagic species such as swordfish — although much more needs to be done.

While, environmental and conservations organizations like Oceana are working non-stop to protect these precious animals from over fishing — I encourage each of you to help as much as you can by reducing your consumption of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna and Swordfish.