A Plea to Stop Overfishing
We are accustomed to taking from the oceans unlimited quantities of the fish and seafood we enjoy eating. Since the ocean depths are invisible, we imagine them as limitless. However, fishing is an activity which involves drawing on stocks: the more we catch, the fewer the fish left to reproduce and replenish the original quantities. Now that we have forgotten this fact, we engage in an industrial mode of fishing the exhausts fish stocks. Illegal fishing is increasing, as if the sea were a place where law does not apply. The by-catch, i.e. the creatures unintentionally captured during fishing operations, such as sponges, sharks, dolphins and turtles, may account for up to 80% of the total catch, and it is likely that 20 million tonnes are thrown back dead each year, the equivalent of one fish in every four caught. Although scientists have sounded the alarm bell, the politicians allow this massacre to continue. Industrial fishing fleets are free to do as they please. Short-term interests determine political decisions. This unlimited exploitation of our oceans, and more generally of our planet, is having direct and manifest effects on marine biodiversity. Many species are threatened with extinction, such as whales, dolphins, sharks, cod and bluefin tuna. Yet the list in much longer than that. 80% of commercial species are overexploited. At the present rate, there will be no fish left in the oceans by 2050. What will we do then? This question is already a burning issue for the billion people on earth who depend totally on the produce of the sea for their intake of animal protein. The destruction of marine biodiversity also has serious implications for food security.
In 1980, at the age of 23, Pierre Gleizes embarked the “Rainbow Warrior” as a photographer and crew member. A supporter of Greenpeace for more than thirty years, privileged witness on the non-violent activity of this movement heralding the rise of environmental awareness, with his camera he was to become a key player in the creation of its media image. The work we are presenting is the result of many campaigns fought to bring attention to overfishing, off the coasts of Africa, in Scotland and in the China Sea. These images have travelled around the world, making the case against such practices more effectively than any words could.
Born in Paris in 1956, Pierre Gleizes founded the Greenpeace International photographic service and has always supported the activities of the Greenpeace movement. After seven years with the Associated Press, he went freelance in 1991 and has specialised in ethnogeographical reportages. Since 2009, this lover of the sea has lived as a nomad on the French inland waterway network on board the Nicéphore, a way of life that gives him better access to people and their environment, and has taught him to cope with the unexpected.
Exhibition Venue: Riverside Gardens
Exhibition Dates: 3 – 13 December 2016
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