THE ROSS SEA, ANTARCTICA John Weller launched The Last Ocean Project in 2004 in an effort to promote awareness and conservation about the Ross Sea, Antarctica, a region deemed by scientists as the most pristine marine ecosystem left on earth. Scientists, artists and international conservation organizations have now joined forces to promote the Ross Sea as a marine protected area. To read more about the Ross Sea Last Ocean Project, visit our project site here or John Weller’s Pew Fellowship site here.
Watch John Weller’s Ross Sea Last Ocean Film
We’ve also completed work in the following project areas:
THE BAHAMAS More than 73 million sharks are killed each year, primarily targeted for their fins in long-line fisheries or caught as by-catch. These fishing pressures have caused many regional shark populations to decline by 90 – 99%. The Bahamas, located 30 miles off the coast of Florida, and situated between the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Stream, is a shark haven. Extensive shallow reefs and sand banks create ideal habitats for sharks, large reef fish, turtles, and dolphins. More than 40 species of sharks have been observed in the Bahamas’ waters, including some of the largest – tigers, lemons, great hammerheads, bulls and oceanic white tips. To protect this shark oasis, local and international NGOs have proposed designating the entire Bahamian EEZ as a shark sanctuary. The Last Ocean Project is producing a film about the critical role sharks play not only in the Bahamas’ ecosystem but also in the lives of the people who live there. In the summer of 2011, this film will be shown throughout the Bahamas via our Outdoor Ocean Cinema.
RAJA AMPAT, INDONESIA Biodiversity assessments over the last decade have revealed that Raja Ampat is the heart of global marine biodiversity with more species of fish and coral than anywhere else on the planet. As marine resources dwindle elsewhere in Asia, fishers have pushed into Raja Ampat, the island group off of Papau, Indonesian’s easternmost territory. Shark finning has devastated shark populations and dynamite fishing has turned coral reefs to rubble. A handful of villages have now teamed up with international conservation groups to fight poaching in their waters. The Last Ocean Project is producing a film highlighting Raja Ampat’s amazing biodiversity and the medley of people who depend on it. In 2012, the film will be shown throughout Raja Ampat via our Outdoor Ocean Cinema. Visit our field blog to read about and see photos from our latest trip.