Fishing for Answers sums up ocean issues
August 26, 1998
By Environmental News Network staff
To support the international Year of the Ocean effort, Turner Environment Division of Turner Entertainment has produced a video that deals with fisheries management and the threats to our world ocean and the marine ecosystem.
Entitled Fishing for Answers, the video addresses the global crisis by putting a human face on the issues -- fisherman, government regulators, conservationists and scientists are all given a forum to voice their perspectives on the problems facing our seas and fish populations today.
The video is part of the People Count series. Barbara Pyle, a photojournalist, correspondent and executive producer of the People Count series, spent 18 years attending U.N. summits and conferences on social, environmental and population issues. She came away from these high-level events feeling frustrated that the level of public awareness regarding these issues was so low, and created People Count to provide the missing link in communicating these complex subjects to the public: the human face.
Fishing for Answers follows this approach. To describe what could easily be presented as a one-sided conservationists versus unprincipled developer kind of issue, Pyle spent time with representatives from all sides of the issue, enabling her to present the fisheries crisis in all its complexity through the stories of real people.
For instance, Pyle interviewed a third generation fisherman from one of the oldest fishing ports in the country, Gloucester, Mass. He tells of the changes that have occurred since his father's time, with government regulations dictating when where how and even whether they can fish, with the Coast Guard actively enforcing the catch limits and closed fisheries. She also interviews the fisheries managers, environmentalists and scientists trying to protect the fish stocks.
Another segment deals with volunteers working at the Marine Mammal Center in California who spend their time rescuing sea lions suffering from the effects of El Niño. This is contrasted with salmon fishermen who view the sea lions as competitors for the catch. Observing negotiations between the two groups provides insight into how some of these issues will ultimately be resolved.
People Count programs have been distributed to the 180 countries that constitute the World Report contributors network, in addition to many colleges, schools, and non-governmental organizations with a potential viewing audience of two billion. The project receives support from the Turner Broadcasting System and funding from United Nations agencies and private foundations.
To see the video, visit the Multimedia Section of the Year of the Ocean web site.
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