Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bad press for shark fin broker

Porter Erison and Cristina Spindler are the marketing and PR-executives of - this is what I wrote to them today:

Dear Porter, dear Cristina:

Toward the end of October 2006 I discovered by chance that your company is heavily engaged in the international shark fin trade. I then alerted friends and conservationist organizations such as the Shark Trust (UK), Wild Aid (US), the Shark Research Institute (US), Shark Life (South Africa), Sea Shepherd (US), Sharkproject (Germany / Austria).

Richard Stewart of the Ocean Realm Society, Professor Brian W. Darvell of the Hong Kong University, Marie Levine of the Shark Research Institute, Jupp von Kerckerinck, and myself wrote many letters to you imploring you to stop promoting the international shark fin trade. I have sent you numerous articles on the devastating environmental effects of the brutal practice of shark finning - to no avail.

You and your CEO who publicly pretends to be conservation minded, most likely acting on your expert advice, chose not to react.

You have probably forgotten that many months ago I said to you that what starts as a breeze of protest against Alibaba's involvement in the abominable, often criminal shark fin trade will soon develop into a storm of world-wide indignation. You must have then laughed at my admonition. Soon you won't be even smiling anymore...

Your shameless support of the shark fin trade is making it into the news.

Watch the ABC-News video, and invite Mr. Jack Ma to see it. Then decide what PR-strategy you should develop to face the mounting pressure on

In the end you will have to realize that the only folks that will be on your side are going to be the shark fin traders - not exactly the type of business people a company that is considering going public would like to be associated with....

Here is the article on shark finning with the ABC-News video clip.

Best regards,


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Another Blog

If anyone is interested in Digital Media, my company just launched a blog: Digital Perspective, on which I post on once in a while. The authors are made up of Erin Byrne, Stephanie Bonnet, Charlie Pownall, and myself. Interestingly enough, we give a global perspective on digital communications since we are all over the world. Erin is in New York (and all over the US actually), Stephanie in London, Charlie in Singapore, and I am in Miami (close enough to LATAM). Have a look and let me know what you think.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sharks reproducing without having fun...

Interesting article sent to me by a friend about another shark reproducing without actually breeding with another shark:

Similar story to what happened with female hammerhead sharks.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Have a look at - we have just updated the site and added 20 new photos. Let us know what you think...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Out of Action

A lot of things have been happening lately that have not allowed me to post: work has been crazy and we have a new member to the OceanicDream family: Tibu, see photo above. Remaining true to our passion, the name Tibu comes from the word Tiburon (Shark in Spanish). I will shortly also post a video, diving in Key Largo, there are some nice shots, and talk a little about the trip.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Body Language

You really don't have to have had intensive tiger shark body language lessons to understand what this beauty is eloquently telling us... The more we know about sharks, the less 'unpredictable' they are. Actually, as far as that goes, they are not THAT different from humans. In other respects, sharks are a lot more lovable than humans - at least that is the way I feel. :-)

- click on the picture to enlarge it -

Friday, June 08, 2007

Tiger Shark About to Attack Swimmer .....

.... is the likely headline you would read accompanying this photo in the media – a picture of a shark that is about to clamp down its powerful jaws on a frail human hand would sell, even in black and white. Sharks are still being portrayed in the media as the quintessential villains. As if the readers still expected them to be the 'mindless killing machines' Peter Benchley and Steven Spielberg made the world believe some 30 years ago.

The reality behind this photograph I have recently taken in South Africa is not sensational in a journalistic sense. Symbolically, however, it carries a significant message: It is man stretching out its hand to the vilified wolf of the sea as if to say:

"We have stripped you of your dignity and we have persecuted you throughout the ages; we have likened your innocence to the worst of human traits, not wanting to admit that the darker side of our nature is not bestial but human. We have ignored in our hubris that our God is the God that also created you, not a lesser god, a god of sharks - Peace to you, finally."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Roger Horrocks is a freediving underwater photographer -

- not just an 'underwater photographer'. Roger is passionate about freediving. He is so much of a freediver that he will not under any circumstances put on a tank to take underwater photographs.

Not many underwater photographers are able to produce world-class underwater photographs on one breath of air. Roger does. I can hear the scuba photographers challenging me: Who cares
how the picture is being taken? Agreed, in the end, it is the photograph that will be judged. But to know that an underwater image has been taken while freediving definitely gives it another dimension.

When you freedive your photographic equipment becomes an extension of your entire body, not just your eye. And since photographers always hold their breath when they squeeeze the shutter, apnea-diving-photography would almost seem the natural way of photographing underwater. Of course, freediving is more than just holding your breath and swimming underwater. Freediving is rather 'flowing' underwater. Thus, freediving photographers take photographs while they flow underwater....

Contrary to how scuba divers sometimes condescendingly refer to freediving, it is not "topside" diving, it isn't "snorkeling" either - freediving is the most ancient, yet ultimate way of diving. It simply is what a French friend of ours, Jacques Millat, an outstanding freediver of the old school, once called "la vraie joie de la plongee", the true joy of diving...

Look at Roger in these two images - see? That's what freediving is all about: La vraie joie de la plongee....