Today’s state of ocean pollution is affecting marine wildlife in a dramatic way. We Humans are responsible for this disaster and we are yet to suffer the consequences. This photographic work translates the issues marine wildlife is facing in regards to marine pollution by creating a human analogy on plastic entanglement.
Tell us a bit about your background and your passion for the oceans.
I was born in the USA in 1979 where I spent my early childhood, I then lived in France where I studied cinema. I am now settled in South India (Pondicherry) where I live and work as a commercial photographer since 2004.
As a kid I used to beach comb on the high tide mark looking for treasures. I would always find an old lighter or some shoe covered in barnacle testifying of its long journey at sea. Many years later my fascination for the wrack line is still present but the message I read in it is terrifying. The amount of plastic debris found on beaches worldwide is an indicator of the scale of marine pollution.
Marine wildlife is the first victim of this pollution and we will be the next ones to suffer the consequences. The Ocean is what makes life on earth possible; it is the most important element in the sustainability of our ecosystem.
Every one of us spends the first nine months of their existence in water, our link with it is undeniable.
From surfing to sailing I have always tried to spend as much time as possible near the Ocean to understand this deep relation with this amazing mix or energy and matter
You are involved in several organisations, such as Matsya Seafaring Marine Conservation. Tell us more about your environmental work.
Matsya Seafaring is a starting social enterprise I have registered last year with the aim of creating an affordable oceanographic platform for organizations, students and small scale scientific surveys. For that matter I am presently building a small sailboat which should be ready sometime this year. This will also allow me to continue monitoring marine debris by conducting water surface surveys using a manta trawl (under construction as well) to further witness the problems we are facing. Research and monitoring are important step to understand the scale and patterns of marine pollution as well as creating effective awareness and future answers.
How do you think can your work create positive impact?
Every life form on earth is interconnected and has a specific role to play. We humans tend to forget the importance of other life forms in the balance of our ecosystem. Today because of marine pollution many species are being deeply affected threatening our own survival. By creating the human analogy on plastic entanglement and ingestion I hope more people will relate to this issue by understanding the impact it already has on their own lives.
Tell us some project you have been lately involved in?
Last year I spontaneously started monitoring marine debris by conducting shoreline surveys with the sole purpose of being a witness to the ongoing pollution problem. Although I was already deeply concerned by marine pollution my findings weir shocking and I started taking this issue very personally. Being a photographer by profession it was a logic choice to create visual campaigns for awareness on ocean pollution to try and initiate behaviour change in the way we consume and dispose of our plastics.
Where do you see solutions for the ocean pollution / plastic pollution problem?
The high profit plastic industry which is benefiting only a hand full of people does not seem to care for the impact they have on our environment. They are well organized and have been lobbying in a gruesome sort of way by lying on the impact their toxic chemical products has on our health and lives. It is time for us (concerned parties) to have structured lobbies as well and create efficient advocacy to spread awareness on this issue.
We need to start a crusade against these giants who are perpetrating this crime against humanity. The production of the paradoxical “disposables” has to end fast and our society should move forward by phasing out all plastics. The production of toxic product is the root of the problem and it need to end fast.
What are your wishes for the future?
I wish to witness a plastic free world where everyone understands their deep relation with the environment thus acknowledging their inborn love of the Ocean and the consequences even the smallest action could have on their future (in good or bad).
I truly believe that once we are conscious we love something it is impossible to hurt or destroy it.
The Ocean gave us life…and it is threatening to take it back
Thanks a lot! Keep up your great work!
You can Find Jeremy on Facebook – and he is probably the only photographer in the world not to be on Instagram.