Guy Harvey Film, Research Inspires North Vancouver Mayor to Support Shark Fin Ban

October 15, 2012

NOTE: The following article appears courtesy of Huffington Post Canada.

A wave of bylaws banning the possession, trade, sale and distribution of shark fin products has swept across the province of British Columbia this past month. North Vancouver joined Port Moody and Coquitlam in introducing a ban on shark fin soup in restaurants, a popular Asian dish that supports a vast industry that is decimating shark populations worldwide and threatens many species with extinction.

Interestingly, Artists for Conservation played an important role in this policy change. Last year the mayor of the city of North Vancouver, Darrell Mussatto, attended the first annual Artists for Conservation Festival on Grouse Mountain. It was there where he first met legendary marine artist Dr. Guy Harvey, a leading advocate for the shark-fin ban, and founder of the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI).

Dr. Harvey’s documentary “This is Your Ocean: Sharks” premiered at the festival last November and Mayor Mussatto had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Harvey about his efforts to save sharks from extinction through his film. That encounter inspired him to support a shark fin ban in his city last month.

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Guy Harvey Film Festival Coming to St. Pete Beach

September 5, 2012

Film Festival Part of Gulf Fisheries Symposium

ST. PETE BEACH, FL August 31, 2012—Legendary fisherman, artist and conservationist, Dr. Guy Harvey, will host a film festival at the Tradewinds Island Grand Resort on Saturday, September 15, 2012, in conjunction with the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Symposium. Two of Harvey’s award-winning documentaries will be featured along with trailers for his upcoming films. Admission is free but parking is limited and will cost $5 per car. The first film with be shown at 7:00 p.m. with the second showing immediately following an intermission.

In 2011, Harvey’s documentary, This is Your Ocean: Sharks, won the Macgillivray Freeman Conservation Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival in California. It will open the Saturday night event. Also on tap for viewers will be Harvey’s latest film, Mystery of the Grouper Moon, which was filmed last year in the Cayman Islands.

“Grouper Moon is a very important project for us because it shows how science and art can work in concert to bring about responsible marine conservation,” Harvey said.

Mystery of the Grouper Moon focuses on a reef in Little Cayman where thousands of Nassau grouper congregate each February during the full moon. The grouper, which come to the same reef from miles around, are there for their annual spawning. Conservationists in Cayman persuaded the government to close fishing on the reef during the spawning season to protect the fish when they are vulnerable to mass catches by local fishermen.

“I have a lifelong love affair with fishing,” Harvey said, “and this film illustrates why there are certain times when we need to protect the species in order to have healthy and sustainable populations.”

This is Your Ocean: Sharks is a bit of a love affair as well between a man and a shark. The star of the film is Emma, a 12-foot tiger shark that has been befriended by famed scuba diver, Jim Abernethy. Conventional wisdom has been that tiger sharks are ruthless man eaters and historically they have been one of the most feared sharks. However, Abernethy and Emma formed a bond during hundreds of dives and they sometimes bump nose to dive mask in a heart-stopping show of affection. Abernethy likens Emma to a “puppy dog” and the film reveals how shark and man can peacefully co-exist.

The TradeWinds Island Grand is a 20-acre resort located on the unspoiled white sand beaches of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico, with extensive meeting space, five pools, fine and casual dining, beach bars and nearly limitless recreation for both adults and children.


Award-Winning Shark Film “This is Your Ocean: Sharks” Now Available for Purchase

July 3, 2012

Limited Time Discount Offer for Guy Harvey Fans

The internationally-acclaimed shark documentary, “This is Your Ocean: Sharks” – winner of the prestigious MacGillivray Freeman Films Special Achievement Award in Environmental Filmmaking at the Newport Beach Film Festival – is now available for purchase for the first time. For a limited time, Guy Harvey fans get a $5 discount off the purchase price by entering “Emma” as the coupon code when ordering.

Three of the world’s top artists shatter your perception of sharks in this award-winning film festival hit. THIS IS YOUR OCEAN: SHARKS follows Wyland, Dr. Guy Harvey and Jim Abernethy as they plunge into the waters of the Bahamas to paint a new picture of sharks. There you’ll learn why it’s critical to protect the ocean’s remaining sharks – and what will happen if we don’t. You’ll also meet Emma, a 14-foot tiger shark. With breathtaking footage shot on location around the world, and break- through discoveries, it’s an adventure that will have you seeing sharks very differently.


Louisiana Authorities Confronting Illegal Shark Fishing

April 13, 2012

Though much of the demand for shark fins comes from Asian countries, where it is used in soups to celebrate weddings, banquets and important business deals, the pipeline for supplying the product is global in its reach – and includes fisherman catching and finning sharks in US waters.

Two recent arrests in Louisiana highlight the need for stronger regulations, enforcement and penalties to ensure that shark populations within federal waters are protected from this highly destructive practice, which is pushing certain shark species to the brink of extinction. In separate incidents in February and April, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division cited or arrested five commercial fisherman for exceeding the daily shark limits allowed under LA law and for finning the sharks in their possession. In the case of the arrests, law enforcement officials found “a hidden compartment in the bow of the vessel that contained 12 large sacks of shark fins totaling 2,073 fins”. The bodies of the sharks were not on board the boat, which is consistent with the practice of finning – cutting the fins off live sharks and dumping the body overboard, leaving the shark to endure a slow death from drowning.

Hats off to the LDWF for their proactive efforts to catch shark poachers. You can show your support by signing our pledge to denounce shark finning and any businesses that profit from the trade.


Showings of “This is Your Ocean: Sharks” Documentary Raises Over $10,000 for Bahamas National Trust

April 5, 2012

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL—APRIL 6, 2012— The award-winning shark documentary, This is Your Ocean: Sharks, which completed its national tour with a series of final live showings in Palm Beach County last month, raised over $10,000 to benefit the Bahamas National Trust’s efforts to protect sharks.

Two of the film’s stars – celebrated marine artist and conservationist Dr. Guy Harvey and shark expert and diver Jim Abernethy – along with Emmy award winning director George C. Schellenger, attended the final showing on March 22nd, which also featured a live auction of Harvey’s artwork and Abernethy’s photographs.

This Is Your Ocean: Sharks was part of a campaign led by the Bahamas National Trust encouraging the Bahamian government to increase protection of sharks in their federal waters. This campaign resulted in the prohibition of all commercial shark fishing in its more than 240,000 square miles of territorial waters.

This is Your Ocean: Sharks, which premiered last year at the prestigious Newport Beach Film Festival, reveals up close the misconceptions and myths surrounding these misunderstood predators of the sea and promotes global shark conservation.  Millions of sharks are killed each year in the shark-fin trade to satisfy the global appetite for shark-fin soup.

Instrumental in bringing the shark documentary to Palm Beach was Jeffrey Berman, whose company, Berman Enterprises LP, owns and manages Downtown at the Gardens, where the gala Palm Beach premier was held at Cobb Theatres 16. The film was shown through the following week at two Cobb Theatres locations.  Cobb generously donated the theatres for the showings.

The film’s director, George Schellenger, said following the Palm Beach County live showings that the documentary will be available in the near future for home audiences via Blu Ray, DVD and downloads.


Guy Harvey Talks Sharks on 1290 WJNO Radio

March 20, 2012

Guy recently spoke to south Florida’s 1290 WJNO radio in advance of the gala screening of the shark documentary, “This is Your Ocean: Sharks”. The film, starring Guy, fellow marine artist Wyland and shark expert Jim Abernethy will be showing Wednesday, March 21st at the Cobb Theatres, Downtown at the Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Guy, Jim and producer/director George Schellenger will be in attendance. Tickets are still available, and all proceeds from this special screening will benefit the Bahamas National Trust.

Guy Harvey Talks “This is Your Ocean: Sharks” on 1290 WJNO Radio


Undercover Investigation Exposes Secrets of the Overseas Shark Fin Markets

March 7, 2012

At a fishery in Kesennuma, Japan, hundreds of salmon sharks are lined up, weighed and then their fins are sliced off.

Shawn Heinrichs, one of today’s premiere underwater photographers/cinematographers, was recently featured in one of HDNet‘s Dan Rather Reports segments titled, “All for a Bowl of Soup”. Shawn’s investigative report has produced one of the most disturbing, yet insightful looks yet into the Asian shark fin markets. The evidence captured on film gives viewers a perspective on the death and destruction of shark populations in a way that has likely never been seen before:

* hundreds of bags labeled as “Anchovies from Mexico” overflowing with shark fins

* 6,000-7,000 fins – one day’s haul in just one shop – being sorted, washed and dried

* sharks being finned alive on fishing vessels, then dumped back into the ocean to drown

* a “tuna fishery” that processed less than 100 tuna, yet thousands of sharks – which were caught “accidentally” as by-catch

* a finned nurse shark, still alive, slowly dying on a reef – within a marine sanctuary off Indonesia

If you wish to gain a new perspective on the horrors of shark finning and develop an understanding of the unsustainable destruction that shark populations are experiencing on a global level, then please watch the 7-minute video below (the full 30-minute segment can be downloaded from iTunes, search “Dan Rather: For a Bowl of soup”.


Last Live Showings of “This is Your Oceans: Sharks”

March 6, 2012

Documentary to Show at Two Cobb Theatres in Palm Beach County

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL—March 6, 2012— The award-winning nature documentary, This is Your Oceans: Sharks, completes its national tour with a series of final live showings in Palm Beach County starting March 21st with a gala evening event at Cobb Theatres 16 at Downtown at the Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens.

The film’s stars—celebrated marine artists and conservationists Dr. Guy Harvey and Wyland along with shark expert and diver Jim Abernethy and Emmy award winning director George C. Schellenger— are scheduled to attend the first showing, which will also feature a live auction of the artists’ original art. Tickets for the gala evening, which include light hors d’oeuvres and wine, are priced at $22.

All of the net proceeds from the gala opening and subsequent showings of the film at both Cobb Theatres 16 at Downtown at the Gardens and Cobb Theaters 18 in Jupiter are being donated to the Bahamas National Trust which recently headed a campaign resulting in the Government of the Bahamas prohibiting all commercial shark fishing in its more than 240,000 square miles of territorial waters. The Bahamas is the fourth country to ban shark fishing after Honduras, the Maldives and Palau.

One of the premier shark-watching destinations for divers, reeling in $800 million over the past 20 years for the Bahamian national economy, sharks, according to Dr. Harvey, are worth much more alive than dead.

“Many countries have seen their populations of sharks annihilated by commercial over-exploitation,” said Dr. Harvey.  “Research has shown that shark populations do not recover.  Other countries will take encouragement from the Bahamas’ very bold move.  They are realizing very quickly the value of the living shark in maintaining the health of reef ecosystems.  In addition, the economic value of a living shark to ecotourism is now widely accepted as a sustainable and non-consumptive use of a marine resource with many additional benefits to respective island nations.”

Instrumental in bringing the shark documentary to Palm Beach is Jeffrey Berman, whose company, Berman Enterprises LP, owns and manages Downtown at the Gardens.

“This documentary certainly changed the way I looked at these magnificent animals and gave me a new understanding of why it’s so important to be caretakers for our oceans and the creatures that inhabit them,” said Berman.  “I have to especially thank the folks from Cobb Theatres for donating the theaters for these showings, it was a very generous commitment.”

Joining Cobb as sponsors are Whole Foods Market and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.

This is Your Ocean: Sharks, which premiered last year at the prestigious Newport Beach Film Festival, reveals up close the misconceptions and myths surrounding these misunderstood predators of the sea and promotes global shark conservation.  Millions of sharks are killed each year in the shark-fin trade to stratify the global appetite for shark-fin soup.

The film’s director, George Schellenger, said following the Palm Beach County live showings the documentary will be available to home audiences via Blu Ray, DVD and downloads.


Guy Harvey, Sharks Take Center Stage for Showing of “This is Your Ocean”, Q&A Session at U. of Miami

October 11, 2011

Stunning Documentary & Discussion Focus on Ocean’s Most Mysterious and Magnificent Creatures

MIAMI — The R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program at the University of Miami (UM) hosts an exclusive, one night only South Florida showing of the This Is Your Ocean: Sharks at the Bill Cosford Cinema on Thursday, October 13 at 6:30 p.m. The event will be preceded by a reception at 5:30 p.m. where world-renowned marine wildlife artist Dr. Guy Harvey and eight-year-old Oceana Ocean Hero Sophi Bromenshenkel will be painting together live. The artwork they create will be auctioned at the end of the evening, after a Q&A session that will feature Dr. Harvey and shark expert Jim Abernethy who appear in the documentary, Emmy¨ Award Winning Writer, Editor and Director George C. Shellenger, and R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program Director and UM Faculty Member Dr. Neil Hammerschlag. Proceeds from the event will benefit the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program.

Narrated by legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, the documentary takes you on an adventure with renowned marine life artists Dr. Guy Harvey and Wyland, and shark expert Jim Abernethy. The film focuses on the global plight of sharks, their critical role in the marine ecosystem, and introduces audiences to a 14-foot tiger shark named Emma.

“Sharks are one of the most threatened groups of marine animals on the planet,” said Hammershlag. “As apex-predators at the top of the food chain, they play an important role in maintaining the health and balance of our oceans. The majority of the public is unaware of this dire situation and this documentary is an entertaining and informative way to generate the attention that shark conservation deserves.”

The Q&A after the screening will be moderated by 2011 National Geographic Explorer of the Year and UM Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy Director Dr. Kenny Broad.

General admission tickets are $20 and UM student tickets are $10. A $2,000 donation can be made to purchase a shark satellite tag, as well as attend a VIP dinner following the screening. Reservations are are encouraged due to the limited seating. Kindly RSVP to Carla Lovinsky at 305-421-4061 or clovinsky@rsmas.miami.edu.


“This is Your Ocean: Sharks” To Premier at Newport Beach Film Festival

April 20, 2011

NEWPORT BEACH, CA—APRIL 19, 2011—International marine and wildlife conservation artists Guy Harvey and Wyland join with renown SCUBA diver and wildlife photographer Jim Abernethy to showcase This is Your Ocean: Sharks, as the Eco Spotlight feature at the Newport Beach Film Festival, scheduled for April 28-May 5th.

Director George C. Schellenger takes the audience into the world of sharks through the eyes of Wyland, Harvey and Abernathy in the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas, one of the last shark sanctuaries on earth.  The 44-minute documentary depicts sharks in their environment capturing both adventure and passion and providing the audience with face-to-face realism never shown before on film.

Click the movie poster to watch the trailer!

Dr. Harvey, founder of the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University and the internationally regarded Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF), recently joined the growing ranks of individuals and organizations calling for strict regulations to ban the commercial fishing of all sharks in The Bahamas. Scientists with the International Union for Conservation of Nature have estimated that 30 percent of shark and ray species around the world are threatened or near threatened with extinction.  The loss of these animals could cause irreversible damage to the ocean’s ecosystem and result in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in the tourist trade.

Related Shark Conservation Activity

Circle Hook Symposium: Dr. Harvey has offered his artistic talent and foundation sponsorship funding in support of the upcoming Circle Hook Symposium scheduled for May 4-6 in Miami. The symposium, hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is an international gathering of scientists, resource managers and constituents convening to discuss the performance and use of circle hooks in commercial, recreational and artisanal fisheries. While it is legal to use a J-hook to fish for sharks, experts such as Dr. Harvey recommend using a circle hook, where the barb points inward and not outward.

Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge: Laishley State Park in Punta Gorda, Florida is hosting the 2011 “Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge Tournament” on May 13-15th, which has become a model for the next-generation of shark catch and release tournaments with the mandatory use of circle hooks.  Scientists from Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota will be on the water working with the tournament fishermen, tagging qualifying sharks and assisting with the release.