Abyss – International Festival of Underwater Images and Aquatic Worlds

ocean and yellowspotted burrfish
This week in May holds many days off, and one of the highlights has been the International Festival of  Underwater Images and Aquatic Worlds, which took place at the Palais de Congrès, in the centre of Ajaccio. For its first year of initiation, this festival held quality and a world of information, for those who had the opportunity of attending. Documentaries, films and conferences over two days, supported by enchanting underwater images, a world to discover/rediscover with full appreciation and needless to say, the Mediterranean also held an important role here, with a special regard to the ray and shark family. For amateurs of photography, a competition was held for underwater images, and the possibility to photograph the wreck of a world war II P40 Curtiss fighter.

I particularly appreciated Rupert Murray’s documentary ‘The End of the Line’, where details of the extinction of species were rendered with specific information supported by potent interviews. If we do not change our views on fishing worldwide, do you know by 2048, there will be just no more of these fish to catch! – examples being, tuna + cod, (to mention just two). It is a global problem, and the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council, a global organisation) is doing its best to inform and redress the situation in many countries. However, this can be a slow advancing process, where cooperation is required from all parties concerned, but progress has been achieved, with much more to accomplish.

What struck me was the fact, that when the specialists were asked the direct question, “is it too late to change the outcome?”, the answer was ‘no’, if, and only if, we take into account the serious alerts and known figures/facts, we can change events, – now. But, you may find yourself asking: “how can we, as individuals contribute to this change?” and the answer here would be to remain alert on the origin of fish you purchase – the consumer holds an important responsibility and power of action, and in buying from registered environmental standard members (published on packaging, for shop supplies), you are, in spite of yourself, assisting the necessary wave of global consciousness in concrete, and valuable ways.
Can we speak of the ocean without remembering the films ‘Océans’ (Jacques Perrin), and ‘Planète Océan’ (Yann Arthus Bertrand), and both of which were shown here over the 2 days.

Congratulations to everybody who made this event possible, notably Nathalie Battini, (Enigma)  – and looking forward to your presence here again next year.


photo credit: Enigma

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