Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Quiet Power of Pictures: Census of Marine Life catalogs ocean images

Being involved with video and film, I sometimes just like to revel in the pictures - no story, no facts and figures, just the impact of images that announce "here is something worth protecting."

For the past ten years, over 2,000 scientists from 80 countries have been cataloging pictures of marine life, sometimes rare and unusual deep sea marine life. Their efforts are part of the Census of Marine Life, or CoML, the final report from which will be released in October.

The drawback with these and other kinds of dramatic pictures of the seas is that it can give the impression that everything is all right. "The coral reefs are fine; just look it these amazing photos. There's plenty of healthy sealife; just look at this photo gallery." Well, you can find a little bit of peace in a ghetto; a little bit of humanity in the midst of a disaster - but it doesn't mean everything is all right.

This brief collection of images, published online in the BBC News, should only serve to remind us that the oceans need our concerted efforts to protect and conserve it. For the sake of its own beauty, for the sake of our own survival.

See more images and videos at the CoML website.

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