After founding Habitat Media in 1992, Director Steve Cowan's documentaries about efforts to prevent the incidental capture of endangered sea turtles helped promote the use of turtle excluder devices on shrimp vessels worldwide. In 1997, while traveling in Thailand to document the explosive growth of the shrimp farming industry, he and co-producer Barry Schienberg met several fishermen reporting severe declines in their catch. They returned to Southeast Asia two years later to film the activities of pirate vessels plundering local waters and the destruction of coral reefs due to dynamite and cyanide fishing. These stark images would eventually become one of the case studies presented in Empty Oceans, Empty Nets. While in South East Asia, Steve and Barry also saw the loss and degradation of coastal wetlands that are vital to ocean fisheries, in many cases due to the excavation of shrimp ponds and the pollution they create. These images prompted one of the case studies in Farming the Seas.
In the years that followed, Rivkah Beth Medow, Shara Lange and Julie Yoon joined the production team and further trips were made to document fisheries and aquaculture operations in New England, Alaska, British Columbia, Japan, China, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Canary Islands. Habitat Media continues to produce engaging documentaries on sustainable development. Visit our website at www.habitatmedia.org to find out what we are working on now!
Generous support for the Marine Fisheries Series has been provided by: