Archive for June, 2008

Australasia – Australia Shark Fishery Petition

Posted in conservation, news, photography with tags , , , , on June 27, 2008 by shawnheinrichs

Petition challenges Australia shark fishery
May 27, 2008 – At a time when the global community is finally taking notice that sharks are in desperate need of protection, Australia’s state of Queensland is preparing to take a major step backwards in the Great Barrier Reef reserve.

With shark populations already declining as commercial fishermen catch over 700 tonnes of sharks per year, the government is now planning to create a licensed shark fishery in the reserve with little or no protection offered to many endangered species of sharks. Sustaining the shark fishery seems to be of greater importance than preservation of sharks and the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

A petition has been drafted to stop the creation of a licensed shark fishery in the Great Barrier Reef. To learn more about the shark fishery and the state of sharks in the world’s ocean, visit the Shark Savers Web site.

-Shawn Heinrichs

(Photos courtesy Danielle Heinrichs.)

TNC Speaker – MPA Global Workshop

Posted in conservation, news with tags , , , , , on June 19, 2008 by shawnheinrichs

At the invitation of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Conservation International (CI), I presented a case study in June 2008 workshop, A Private Sector Approach – Conservation Agreements in Support of Marine Protection. The information below is a short abstract of the case study. A complete case study will be posted on the toolkit prior to October 2008.

Misool Eco Resort (MER) is located in the remote southern part of Raja Ampat, Indonesia. The small resort is located on the island of Batbitim, deep in a vast archipelago of uninhabited islands, 240 kilometers from the nearest resort and half a day’s journey from the nearest village. Misool Eco Resort is deeply committed to a policy of environmental and social responsibility. We seek to provide exceptional and enriching diving experiences in a sustainable environment.

We aim to protect and revitalize both our natural surroundings and the community in which we operate. We are committed to demonstrating to our hosts, our guests, and the local government that tourism can support a local economy on much more favorable terms than mining, logging, overfishing, or shark finning. In doing so, MER entered into a lease agreement with the local community to establish a 200 square km Marine Protected Area (no-take zone) surrounding Misool Eco Resort. Within this area, all fishing, shark finning, harvesting of turtle eggs and shellfish are strictly prohibited. We also require all boats to practice reef-safe anchoring. We regularly patrol the area for illegal fishing and shark finning.

In addition, the Misool Conservation Centre is being registered as a UK-charity, and will provide a well equipped, functional base for scientific research and conservation projects, both social and environmental.

Perhaps most importantly, MER is dedicated to safeguarding the local community in which we operate. Our labor force, drawn largely from the closest village, is offered favorable working conditions, health benefits, job training, and English lessons.

Website: – Misool

DiveFilm Podcast – Sardine Run and Whale Wisdom

Posted in conservation, news, production, video with tags , , , , , , , on June 5, 2008 by shawnheinrichs

With the International Whaling Commission meeting just around the corner, DiveFilm“` HD Video Podcast has released as its latest episode, Shawn Heinrichs’s “Whale Wisdom – A Mother Humpback’s View.” This short film evokes the world of a mother and calf as whaling resumes in much of the world’s ocean.

Other great episodes of DiveFilm Podcasts recently released include Irish filmmaker Vincent Hyland’s homage to the ocean life off the South West coast of Ireland, and more of the award-winning video entries from the 2008 Our-World Underwater / Wetpixel / DivePhotoGuide Competition, including Simon Spear’s “Porbeagles in Peril” and Shawn Heinrichs’ “The Sardine Run.”

Shawn Heinrichs is a conservation filmmaker based in Longmont, Colorado, USA.  To learn more about Shawn and his work, please visit his website,

-Mary Lynn

Video: Whale Wisdom – A Mother Humpback’s View

Video: Sardine Run: Charging Dolphins-Breaching Whales


Australasia – Whale Wisdom Featured

Posted in conservation, news, video with tags , , , , , on June 5, 2008 by shawnheinrichs

Australasia Scuba Diver features the latest conservation film by Shawn Heinrichs. “Whale Wisdom – Mother Humpback’s View” opens with a mother humpback whale resting below while her calf ascends to the surface and explores the wonders of this strange new world. She offers her calf encouragement and assurance, but also warns of dangers to come. She recalls how commercial whaling all but wiped out many whale species and how even now, over 20 years since the ban on commercial whaling, the killing continues. In her parting thoughts she worries if this year they will take her only child.

Shawn Heinrichs is a conservation filmmaker based in Longmont, Colorado, USA.  To learn more about Shawn and his work, please visit his website,

Video: Whale Wisdom – A Mother Humpback’s View