In this well-received TEDx talk in San Francisco, Amos reveals the story of how an image he made of a Great White shark become an icon, and was used to promote a misleading public perception of sharks as “monsters” and “man eaters.” He introduces the Ocean Legacy project, a five-year plan to photographically document the ability of humans to peacefully interact with animals. He will lead an expedition to encounter and photograph 35 of the world’s Ocean Giants and show their connection with humans.
“Of all mankind’s impacts on nature, perhaps none is more pervasive than the systematic elimination of large animals.”
That’s what Brandon Keim wrote recently in Wired. His point is simple. Extinction of animals is inevitable; in fact, many of those who lived 20,000 years ago are gone now, and others are nearly gone: like the rinoceros and South China tiger.
But recent research has shown that when and if the world’s big animals are gone, the world will be profoundly affected. The facts are the same whether you study a coral reef where fishing has eliminated large fish, or study lakes where researchers have experimented with removing all the largemouth bass from a certain area. When the big animals were gone from those places and others, the ecosystems became instable. It seems that large animals keep things balanced in nature, and if we lose them it the world will be different place. Nature will “go on,” scientists agree. But it will be vastly different from what we know. If we lose the big animals, the Earth we live on now will not be a place we would recognize.
Amos gave a presentation about ocean conservation as part of the well-known TEDx talks. His passion for the Ocean Giants is clear, and the value of talks like this are in education – the more people come to appreciate a planet that includes big animals, the more likely we will have an Earth that our children will be able to inhabit.
It’s been a very quiet year for the Sardine Run. Though some sardines have been seen, there’s been nothing of the magnitude and epic scale you’ve perhaps seen on National Geographic or BBC, and nothing like what I saw here in the early years of 2000.
My guests and I have ten more days here along the wild coast of South Africa. We have moved south to Port Edward with the hope that the last of the Run or the shoal is still to come through and we will intercept and engage the shoal together with the classic predators…the Gannets, common dolphins, sharks and the Brutus whales. We will see! For now, here are four images that summarize our wait, and show the high morale everyone has kept up for the past week.
SkinIt, the leading company in personalization for electronic devices, is offering some Big Animals images for your gift-giving pleasure and your own enjoyment. They’re making me a featured artist on their site and they’re offering 15 percent off to you as a reader of my blog. Read on to find out how.
What is “personalization” for electronic devices? Well, let me ask you first, what’s the one thing you’d never be without for more than a few moments? Most of us would say “my phone” and the rest of us might say “my laptop.” SkinIt offers a way to make those important accessories even more your own – with Big Animals images. You can express your connection with nature and personalize at the same time. The images are high quality and carry my signature. Here’s what they look like, and you can find a collection of Big Animals images on the SkinIt site, and a bio of me.
It’s a new way to make your iPhone or laptop an even greater expression of yourself. I’m glad to be working with SkinIt. Their customer service is great and you can personalize your phone or laptop or give a SkinIt Big Animals gift. Just go online and order. If you enter the AMOS15 promo code, you’ll get 15% off!
“The Ambassador of the Big Animals” – that’s the title of my talk at the Explorer’s Club in New York on November 20th.
To live up to that ambassador role I’ll be in the city, presenting my best stories and information about some of the most fragile regions of the underwater world. I’ll be showing and discussing photographs from my expeditions around the world and will probably include a few “classics” from the hundreds of my images that have appeared in National Geographic, Time, Life, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Le Figaro, and Der Spiegel. You can also see more of my images on my website, plus news about my latest expeditions. It’s all part of spreading my message that only through observation and interaction with these animals can people understand and respect some of the most impressive citizens of our planet. In a few words, “you have to go there and experience this firsthand.” But the next best thing would be to hear me at the Explorer’s Club!
My talk is part of an all day event at the Explorers Club called “Sea Stories.” It’s a day focused on exploration, conservation, scuba diving, shipwrecks, nautical history and marine life. Registration opens at 9am and the presentations start at 10. The Explorer’s Club won’t be selling tickets at the door, so you have to call and reserve ahead of time. Call the Explorers Club at 212-628-8383. There’s good information online, too, about the event. Ticket prices are $60 for members and guests and students with ID are $25.
Some of my fellow Explorer Club members will be speaking about diving Spanish treasure galleons, exploring the habitat of the ocean floor and filming and saving sharks. It will be a fantastic event and I hope to see you there!
Follow me on Twitter and check out my Facebook page. Here I am on YouTube, giving a talk at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA.