Showing posts from 2012

The Spirit of a Shark

Richard Ellis's epic SHARK Exhibition at the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which opened last May, has shown again the power of art to move people, and I am deeply pleased and grateful that my own shark story, along with four paintings, was included.
I began to paint sharks when I first encountered shark finning in 1994, when a ship full of shark fins docked in the port of Papeete. As a result of that experience, I went looking for sharks, tried to get to know them as animals and individuals, and began painting them as a way of encouraging others to appreciate and protect them.
What struck me spellbound about them from the first, was the way they would come and look. Those moments when a shark came to gaze straight back from just inches away stretched out for a very long time, and were nothing like the moments of eye-contact shared with other people or mammals. Sharks are different.
The shark's gaze conveys a spirit of considerable power which I tried repeatedly t…

GHOST . . .

One enigmatic shark I knew cruised endlessly, sensed rather than seen as he passed time after time through the vicinity. How often did I believe that he had gone, only to find him close behind me twenty minutes later, a ghost floating almost still in the cloudy light. 
I painted this in memory of those moments one reflective afternoon, years after he was finned. It is entitled "GHOST."

Shark Week -- Demonizing Sharks for Profits

Since 1987, Discovery Channel, owned by Discovery Communications, has presented 'Shark Week' each summer. The week long series of shows promotes these endangered marine animals as man eating monsters, facilitating their mass slaughter with almost no public sympathy, nor protest. The company has so effectively convinced their millions of viewers that sharks deserve to be hated, that many people think that sharks should be hunted to extinction. It has created a wave of fear of the sea, in people who grew up watching Shark Week. Discovery executives know exactly what they are doing, and call it 'shark pornography,' while they rake in billions of dollars. They excuse themselves by claiming they are only giving the public what it wants, but the public's love of horror shows has nothing to do with Discovery's responsibility for having made sharks the subject of that horror. Through their dishonest use of sharks for profit in horror shows, Discovery is responsible for …

A Film by Shanon Sparks

While speaking on shark cognition during a tour in Florida, I was called the Jane Goodall of sharks because of the close bonds I formed with the local sharks in Tahiti. Accepted into their community, I documented their intimate behavior over many years before they were finned by a company from Singapore, for the shark fin soup market.
So when Shanon Sparks, who interviewed me for her film about shark intelligence, made a video clip about my book, she entitled it "The Jane Goodall of Sharks"

Oceana Fights for its Credibility

The giant NGO, Oceana, recently sent out a petition to thousands of its trusting members, charging Mr. Jack Ma, CEO of, with "profiting from the deaths of threatened manta rays". This astonishing move immediately caught the attention of those of us who know him to be one of China's most enlightened businessmen, who refuses to support the traffic in shark fins and threatened wild animals, and who serves on the global Board of Directors of The Nature Conservancy.

The entire affair has already been brilliantly documented by Wolfgang Leander, here : OceanicDreams: Alibaba - here is the good news.

And by Mike Newmann here : 

The man that Oceana has vilified is actually a highly illumined Chinese leader, and a clairvoyant businessman. 
From Wikipedia : 
"On November 6, 2007, at a press conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Hong Kong, called to discuss the highly successful Hong Kong Stock Exchange IPO, when a…