Naturalist, artist and filmmaker Guy Harvey’s documentary films “This is Your Ocean: Sharks” and “The Mystery of the Grouper Moon” are being shown several times during June and July for free at Hollywood Theaters at Camana Bay. Weekender grabbed the busy dude for a few questions.
How pleased are you with the popular demand for the underwater movies?
I am very pleased with the response so far. The entire Grouper Moon documentary was shot in the Cayman Islands and is a heads up for all who live in the Cayman Islands. The shark documentary was shot in the Bahamas and is very relevant to the rest of the Caribbean. The footage is awesome and is particularly educational.
What feedback has there been from the sharks documentary?
This has already been a huge hit with families and kids in particular. The lessons learned from the actions taken by the government of the Bahamas and Honduras are ground breaking and trend setting. Where is the response to this from us in the Cayman Islands?
What can people learn from the Grouper Moon film?
We have learned very quickly how vulnerable groupers and snappers are to over exploitation by greedy Caymanian fishermen who do not care about the future. We have seen a wave of support from the school kids to the newly proposed fishing bans. We see some positive action by the Marine Conservation Board and the Department of the Environment, but a reluctance generally by government to make big meaningful changes on how we utilise marine resources. This is trouble in the long run. The value of living reefs and their inhabitants is Cayman’s only natural resource and we are still eating it.
What can people do to learn more about the marine environment of Cayman?
More school education about the natural history of reefs, reef fish and their importance to our well being is needed in the school curriculum. Adults need to become involved in conservation education and implementation.
There are lots of visiting scientists and researchers who come to study marine life in the Cayman Islands, and the results of their work needs to reach the people of the Cayman Islands. Which is why I did the Grouper Moon documentary. As an educational tool, it has been very effective in generating sympathy and understanding about the plight of these animals. In addition working with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association we have been successful in getting grouper taken off the menus of most restaurants in the Cayman Islands.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on several documentaries right now, including: billfish in Panama, white tip sharks in the Bahamas, sailfish in Mexico, giant tunas in Nova Scotia and humpback whales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The next project in Cayman is to protect sharks. I have already started a shark educational campaign in Cayman with the showing of “This is Your Ocean: Sharks”. I will be doing more in the coming year to bring residents up to speed on shark conservation efforts world wide and show where we in the Cayman Islands need to do our part.
This is Your Ocean: Sharks
Saturday, 30 June, 11am
Saturday, 28 July, 11am
Saturday, 25 August, 11am
The Mystery of the Grouper Moon
Saturday, 14 July, 11am
Saturday, 11 August, 11am
Camana Bay advises patrons to check out their Twitter and Facebook pages where ticket info will be revealed.