Expedition: Danajon Bank
Did you know that nearly half a billion people around the world depend on coral reefs for their survival? Or that over 30% of reefs and other vital coastal habitats have been degraded or destroyed worldwide?
Help us protect one of the world’s most threatened reefs and send an ocean conservation message to the world!
Expedition: Danajon Bank is an international photo exhibition, book, and advocacy campaign to protect a rare and threatened double-barrier coral reef in the Philippines and educate the world about marine conservation, one of the most important issues today. It's a collaboration between the world’s top nature photographers and marine scientists.
Little-known to the outside world, the Danajon Bank is one of only six double-barrier reefs in the world, and one of the most important marine ecosystems in the entire Pacific Ocean. Species found all over the Pacific are thought to have first evolved here. Unfortunately, Danajon Bank faces many threats, including overfishing and destructive fishing practices (such as blast fishing with explosives), as well as overdevelopment, and climate change. The reef is home to at least 200 threatened animals, such as the elusive Tiger-tail seahorse.
Our project aims to capture Danajon Bank in all its fragile beauty and share the images with the world to raise awareness about the threats facing this important ecosystem and many thousands of fragile marine ecosystems around the world.
Following a two-week expedition in spring 2013, we will produce a beautiful hardcover photo book and launch a series of large-scale photo exhibitions at aquariums in London, Chicago, Hong Kong, Manila, and beyond.
The result will be a powerful photographic legacy that will help conservationists to push for increased marine protections in the Philippines and around the world.
Who We Are
Organized by Project Seahorse and the International League of Conservation Photographers, our award-winning team includes legendary photographers Thomas P. Peschak, Luciano Candisani, Claudio Contreras, and Michael Ready, as well as leading conservation experts Dr. Amanda Vincent and Dr. Heather Koldewey.
What You Get
As part of our IndieGoGo campaign, we’ll be producing postcards, limited edition original photo prints, posters, signed copies of the book, and much more. Our backers will also receive behind-the-scenes updates from the expedition team, and an exclusive digital preview of the photos. For full details, see the “Perks” sidebar.
The funds raised by our campaign will help to cover some of the costs associated with the expedition as well as the printing of the book and production of the exhibition prints. We hope you'll help our cause!
Tom, Amanda, Luciano, Heather, Claudio, Mike
and the entire Expedition: Danajon Bank team
ABOUT THE TEAM
Thomas Peschak is a contributing photographer to National Geographic Magazine and a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP). He was recently named by Outdoor Photography magazine as one of the 40 most influential nature/environmental photographers in the world. Thomas is a multi-award winning photographer, receiving awards from the BBC/Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Fujifilm Photographic and Environmental Photographer of the Year competitions. In 2011 he won the nature/environment category of the World Press Photo Awards. Portfolio: http://www.thomaspeschak.com/
Luciano Candisani is a wildlife photojournalist from Brazil. Luciano Candisani’s photo stories on wildlife and biodiversity conservation are published internationally in magazines including National Geographic ,Geo and BBC Wildlife. One of the pictures of his recent coverage about Caimans for National Geographic Magazine won him the first place in a category of the 2012 Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the year competition. He has also won the prestigious Abril Journalism award for his story on the rare and critically endangered “Muriqui” Monkey, a work that led to support for this species conservation in the Atlantic Rain forest of Brazil. He is author of seven photo books and is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation photographers (ILCP). http://www.lucianocandisani.com/
Michael Ready is a naturalist and photographer based in San Diego, California. From vanishing amphibians to bioluminescent squid, Ready's collection of images seeks to reveal the diversity of life and particularly its smaller and lesser-known forms. Ready's field expeditions have taken him to locales around the world, including the Amazon Basin, Cental America, South East Asia, and Japan, where he was honored to swim in mountain streams and photograph giant salamanders as old as he. Portfolio: http://www.michaelready.com/
Claudio Contreras is a Mexican conservation photographer, based in Mexico City. For more than fifteen years he has been documenting his country’s biodiversity, wildlife and plants, terrestrial and aquatic environments with the aims of promoting conservation. He works in close cooperation with the Mexican Federal Environment Agency and several NGOs. He has joined iLCP on two other Photographic Expeditions in the past, one in British Columbia’s Sacred Headwaters region and the other one in the US/Mexico Borderlands. Portfolio: http://www.claudiocontreras.com
Director and co-founder of Project Seahorse, Dr. Vincent was the first biologist to study seahorses underwater, uncover their extensive commercial trade, and initiate a seahorse conservation project. She was named a Leader for the 21st Century by TIME magazine, in 1999. The following year she was awarded a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation, the world’s pre-eminent award in that field. She has held many leadership roles in international conservation, and has published extensively in scholarly journals. Dr. Vincent has received many awards for her own work and as Director of Project Seahorse. As a professor at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Vincent supervises graduate students and teaches. She co-founded Project Seahorse in 1996.
Through her work with Project Seahorse and the Zoological Society of London, Dr. Koldewey has played a central role in advancing the role of aquariums in fish conservation globally, holding leadership roles on many key committees. Dr. Koldewey also continues to be active in research, supervising graduate students within Project Seahorse. She has recently been involved in the designation of the world’s largest marine protected area in the Chagos/British Indian Ocean Territory and she continues a role in developing a research strategy for the region. She co-founded Project Seahorse in 1996.
Dr. Nick Hill
Nick has spent many years working on some of the most beautiful, as well as some of the most degraded coral reefs in the world. Having started his professional life as an ecologist, Nick became increasingly interested in the socioeconomic dimensions of conservation, and spent his PhD years investigating the livelihoods of people on Danajon Bank. Nick now works in ZSL’s International Marine & Freshwater team, where he manages one of the “good news” projects for Danajon Bank, which is helping to reduce the environmental impacts of plastic waste by recycling discarded fishing nets into carpet tiles whilst seemingly generating a few additional benefits along the way. Nick is the lead field scientist on the expedition to Danajon Bank.
ABOUT DANAJON BANK
One of only six double-barrier reef formations in the world, Danajon Bank is thought to be an evolutionary point of origin for many marine animals found all over the Pacific Ocean. According to the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species, it is home to 196 threatened species and ecosystems, including Anacropora spinos, a highly endangered coral, and the Tiger-tail seahorse (Hippocampus comes), which is listed as vulnerable.
The Danajon Bank is also home to hundreds of thousands of people, who depend on it for food and livelihoods. Unfortunately, overfishing, pollution, and development threaten both the future of the ecoyststem and the fishing communities who depend on it for survival.
The Danajon Bank encompasses many of our oceans’ most important and threatened marine habitats, such as mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs. Its biodiversity, and the threats it faces from human activity, make it a powerful example of the beauty of the world’s coastal marine ecosystems and the threats they face in the 21st century.
ABOUT THE ORGANIZERS
Winner of the Whitley Award in Animal Conservation and the Rolex Award for Enterprise, Project Seahorse is a marine conservation organisation committed to the conservation and sustainable use of the world’s coastal marine ecosystems. Led by Dr. Amanda Vincent and Dr. Heather Koldewey, global experts on seahorse conservation, we generate cutting-edge research and turn our findings into highly effective conservation interventions — usually in collaboration with other researchers, governments, and local communities. By working to protect seahorses, Project Seahorse supports marine conservation more broadly.
Over the past 15 years, Project Seahorse and partner PSF have catalyzed the creation of 34 marine protected areas in Danajon Bank and gathered one of the world’s most comprehensive, long-term datasets on any marine ecosystem in the world. Using these MPAs and this data to study how reef habitats, fish species, and seahorse populations thrive — or struggle — with and without protection, we monitor reef health and take direct conservation action to protect one of Philippines’ rarest and most ecologically significant ecosystems.
The International League of Conservation Photographers is a U.S. based non-profit organization whose mission is to further environmental and cultural conservation through photography. Our programs are built on the participation and contributions of our 100+ Fellows, an elite group of the world’s top wildlife and nature photographers who, in addition to displaying remarkable photographic skills, have each demonstrated a deep commitment to conservation efforts around the globe.
At iLCP, we put a lot of thought into communications strategies, identifying the key audiences and the most effective use of the assets gathered during the expedition. We help our Conservation Partners, like Project Seahorse, better communicate their conservation goals and achievements. We have the capacity to create traveling exhibits, mini and full-length documentaries, messaging multimedia, blog series, online galleries, and social media buzz, depending on the needs of the campaign.
iLCP’s Conservation Photography Expeditions have been covered by National Geographic (most recently as the cover story of the August 2011 issue), Outside Online, American Photo, The Guardian, ABC Nightline, Huffington Post, Tree Hugger, and numerous blogs that cater to people who care about the world we live in and the conservation challenges it faces.
Project Ocean Philippines (PSF): Danajon Bank specialists
The Project Seahorse Foundation for Marine Conservation (PSF) is a key partner of Project Seahorse. This Filipino non-governmental organization is committed to conservation of marine ecosystems through equitable, sustainable use. Collaborating with stakeholders and partners in coastal communities, it undertakes research and management initiatives for marine resources within an ecosystem framework. PSF focuses on Danajon Bank because this region encompasses critical marine conservation issues for the Philippines. It uses the seahorses in this region as a flagship species to inspire and engage people in finding solutions to marine conservation problems.