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Marine PhotoBank Bulletin March 27, 2011

Imagery News

Patrolling the Ethical Frontlines of the Wildlife Filmmaking Industry
An Interview with Environmental and Wildlife Film Producer Chris Palmer

Chris PalmerChris Palmer is a mix of vibrant energy and patient calm. While such opposing characteristics may seem at odds, they actually make the perfect storm that led this environmental activist to bring his passionate fight for conservation to film and eventually to the classroom.

At age 63, Palmer is a 30-year veteran environmental and wildlife documentary filmmaker and full-time professor at American University in Washington, D.C.  While Palmer officially teaches environmental filmmaking nine months out of the year, he is never without students, whether in the classroom, out in the field or on the road. Since the publication in 2010 of his exposé of wildlife films, “Shooting in the Wild: An Insider’s account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom,” he has presented more than 100 lectures about the film industry, still starting many by standing on his head to “wake up” the audience. He provides information on everything from how to actually get the money to make films in this ever-more-competitive business to the basics of how to network, something that appears inherent in his genes. In spite of being divided among so many tasks, he always seems to have a devoted ear and a bit of encouragement for anyone appealing to him for advice, particularly his students.

In the 20 years before becoming a film producer and then teacher, Palmer was a naval officer, an engineer, a business consultant, an energy analyst, the chief energy advisor to a senior U.S. senator, a political appointee to the Environmental Protection Agency during Jimmy Carter’s presidency and an environmental activist. Palmer has worked in recent years on stunning IMAX productions, such as "Whales," "Cold Coral Reef Adventures," "Dolphins," "Bears," and "Wolves." His next project is bringing the mysteries of the ocean to IMAX screens.

SeaWeb recently talked to Palmer about his long-term perspective of both the power and potential de-evolution of environmental and wildlife filmmaking. Read the interview >>


Photographing Hope Spots

Hope Spots

Hope Spots are places that ocean conservationist Sylvia Earle and her foundation’s organization Mission Blue has designated as those places critical to the health of the ocean yet were not within protected areas. Networks of marine protected areas maintain healthy biodiversity, provide a carbon sink, generate oxygen, preserve critical habitat and allow low-impact activities like ecotourism to thrive. They are good for the ocean, which means they are good for us.

While about 12 percent of the land around the world is under some form of protection, such as being designated as national parks, world heritage sites or monuments, only about 1 percent of the ocean is protected. The Sylvia Earle Foundation is committed to changing this.

Some of the Hope Spots have become protected since their designation April 1, 2010, while others remain in need of further protection. As others are identified as Hope Spots, they may also be added to the list.

Please contribute your ocean conservation photos from the following Hope Spots and the Marine Photobank will work to support the efforts of the Sylvia Earle Foundation:

Gulf of California

Outer Seychelles

Kermadec Trench


Sargasso Sea

Mesoamerican Reef

Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone

Coral Sea

Saya de Malha Bank

Coral Triangle

Gulf of Mexico Deep Reefs

Ross Sea

Patagonian Shelf

Micronesian Islands

Eastern Pacific Seascape

Gulf of Guinea

Salas y Gomez

Bahamian Reefs

Chilean Fjords & Islands

Gakkel Ridge



New Photobank Images

Check out some recent additions the the Marine Photobank image collection. If you have subscribed for the MPB bulletin through SeaWeb, you may not yet be a MPB member. When prompted, login to the Marine Photobank using the login info you used to sign up for SeaWeb's newsletters and then choose your desired membership status. Once we have reviewed and approved your membership, you will receive an acceptance email and you will then be able to access the photo galleries.

Juan de Dios Morales/Marine Photobank


  • Bottlenose dolphin dead on a beach in Ecuador, the cause unknown.
    Juan de Dios Morales/Marine Photobank


  • Spot Prawn fishery in Vancouver, Canada. Jackie Marks/Marine Photobank
Jackie Marks/Marine Photobank
Eleanor Partridge/Marine Photobank


  • Offshore windfarm off the coast of Norfolk, United Kingdom. Eleanor Partridge/Marine Photobank


  • New Gulf oil spill photos. Eileen Romero/Marine Photobank
Eileen Romero/Marine Photobank
Christine Quigley/Marine Photobank


  • Dolphin tourism, mangrove forests, coral reefs, rising waters of Venice, Frans Josef glacier and more. Christine Quigley/Marine Photobank





Most Popular Images


Guy Marcovaldi/Marine Photobank
Leatherback Turtle and Fish. Guy Marcovaldi/Marine Photobank

Most Downloaded Images*

1. Turtles Caught in Abandoned Fish Net >>
2. Leatherback Turtle and Fish >>
3. Blue Shark Approaches >>
4. Young Red Mangrove >>
5. Coral Reef Wall, Indonesia >>
6. Offshore Windfarm, UK 1 >>
7. Plastic Marine Debris >>

*statistics refer to photos downloaded from January 1, 2011 to March 31, 2011


Parting Shot

Coral in Crisis


Wolcott Henry/Marine Photobank
Wolcott Henry/Marine Photobank

According to the recently released "Reefs at Risk Revisited" report, more than 75 percent of reefs around the world are under immediate threat from either direct or indirect human impacts and their consequences, including bleaching. These threats include overfishing and destructive fishing methods, watershed-based or marine-based pollution and coastal development, as well as warming and acidifying waters. Bleaching events occur when corals are under stress and expel the colorful algae that live within their tissues, exposing their white skeletons. In this photo, a new coral colony attempts to grow on a bleached, dead coral head.