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A harrowing journey into the impoverished and often shady World of Indonesian fishing communities.
Mark Thorpe
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81 Facebook Friends
1 Team Member

FINdonesia, the story thus far

We are at a tipping point in our existence. Oceans are becoming stagnant, acidic wastelands devoid of life, littered with debris, plastic and pollutants. The very lungs of planet Earth are constantly under attack, both the Oceans and Forests are facing their biggest onslaught in history. In a land spread over 17,500 islands and almost devoid of enforced law their is no finer example than the Indonesian sustenance fishing sector to better illustrates this struggle. Will there be hope for the future generations or will the maddening spiral continue its downward trend until the Ocean yields empty?

Since the beginning of this project I was concerned at what I was potentially getting myself into. What would I see, how would the locals react, would I be able to tell the story and do the wildlife justice as well as putting across the plight of the sustenance fishing communities without being overly judgmental of their fishing practices? The only way I could do this was to highlight and question the elements of this story and the actions carried out by the locals that are simply illegal and detrimental to the Ocean environment. This is not a film about shark finning per se, although that does factor, but more one which looks at the bigger picture effecting the long term prospects of an impoverished fishing community.

I could never have imagined what I would witness and discover in what seemed to be a sleepy fishing village.

This project is important to me not simply from a personal level given my lifelong affinity with the Ocean and its incredible wildlife. Sharks and Manta Rays have played a massive role in my career to date and are also loved and cherished by so many appreciative folks around our Planet. They are also sadly in dire need of heightened protective measures. Your support and help in backing this project will allow me bring these issues to light and in doing so call for the enforcement of laws to protect the species at risk.

This is about simply doing what is right. To right the wrongs. To do something for future generations of the region by showing them potential alternatives to fishing as a means for long term sustainability. Turning fishermen into Eco-tourism advocates offers them a way out from a potentially impoverished cycle of living whilst affording the local wildlife populations a reprieve from the constant fishing pressure.

Hoping to reach the next generation, before it's too late.

What is Needed?

Filming this project has taken thus far some six months in trips to the target areas. With almost 90% of the filming phase complete I'm looking to embark on phase two of crowd funding. In order to realize the post production of this project I am looking to secure additional backing of US$25,000. This will go towards:

  • One International return flight ticket between Bali and Fiji
  • The post production requirements to grade, achieve the specific 'look' of the finished project.
  • The creation of the project soundtrack
  • Project DVD Production and first edition run of 1000 units
  • Festival entry fees for 12 International high profile wildlife and documentary film festivals

Great Hammerheads, listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and are publicly understood by the communities to be 'off limits' to fishing, it's not working!

The Rewards

Whether you simply want to get your name in the credits or play a greater role in the project we have a range of perks that we hope will entice you to support us. Please check the right hand column for the complete list of perks available to those of you supporting us.

Please note that we have selected a funding option that will allow the project to receive the monies raised whether we hit our target or not. This underlines our desire to tell this story to the extent that we will continue to execute other fund raising efforts whilst working on the post production until such time as we have raised enough to bring it to the viewing audience.

Manta Rays are supposed to be protected, Indonesia wide, since February 2014. This is obviously not being enforced.

Perks Include

  • Your name in the credits as an Ocean Soul
  • Custom project Tee Shirts
  • Copies of the finalized project on DVD
  • Fine Art Prints on Canvas of Manta and Whalesharks
  • Invitations to National and International Film festivals
  • Assistant Producers in a non decision making role
  • Executive Producer in a non decision making role

The ladies version of the project tee, emblazoned with the tag line "Being #1 is not always something to be proud of" which relates to Indonesia's standing in the shark fin export rankings.

The Impact

Indonesia is ranked as the worlds #1 exporter of shark fins for the Asian shark fin soup industry. This in itself is not illegal. Whilst it may sting a bit to see such magnificent animals being fished on a daily basis the complete animal is being utilized by the local population. However, there is no distinguishing between species which are abundant, to an extent, and those which may be classified internationally as Vulnerable or Endangered. Placards are posted in many of the fish markets but these placards are swiftly removed, there is no effective law to monitor or control what is being landed.

This story also highlights certain elements of the fishing community who are very prepared to go to all and any lengths to endure a continued catch of some of the larger and more iconic shark species. In order to do this they employ certain actions to target Internationally protected species with which to then use as bait to catch their quarry.

Shark skins drying in the sun whilst new shark bait is offloaded. To me that doesn't look like Tuna!

The Indonesian authorities are continually announcing that the fishing for Dolphins to use as shark bait is something that has been stamped out. After having witnessing certain events during the filming of this project it is something we can categorically state as being false. This practice continues to this day with cetaceans consistently being targeted for use as shark bait. This along with the continued fishing of Manta Rays which were afforded nationwide protection from fishing in February of 2014 needs to be made known to the public at large. Your help in supporting this project will allow us to do that.

Risks & Challenges

It is never easy putting oneself in the 'line of fire' so to speak. Dealing with certain elements of a community with few ethics into fishing methods or the species they land can compromise ones personal security. It's not without its risks and as such one has to play a very political game of chess. One's comportment is one's ace so to speak. It serves no-one to walk into the environment in many of the locations we filmed with a negative attitude, in a lawless land that would be folly. Our argument is not with the fishermen, they need to survive, but they need to do so with a greater care and understanding of what their current actions are spelling for future generations.

In the same instant, we need to do the right thing. We need to bring the actions to light so that potentially greater actions can be taken to ensure they are, for once and for all, stamped out completely.

Thresher Sharks are also supposed to be protected in Indonesia and appear on placards posted in most fish markets, the placards don't last very long!

Other Ways You Can Help

We understand that not everyone may be able to support this project financially but that doesn't mean they are any less an asset in the realm of support for social marketing of this effort. You can also help with the sharing of this project to your Facebook profiles or help by Tweeting it out to your Twitter followers and other social media platforms.

To facilitate the social media sharing of this project please use the selection of Indiegogo social media sharing options, it helps with our project standing on this platform, enough of which could help us get into the promoted projects on the Indiegogo platform.

With a concerted effort maybe we can rally and change this little guys future?
Find This Campaign On
raised by 78 people in 2 months
38% funded
No time left
$25,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on September 18, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    Spiritual Supporter

    The spiritual supporters are scuba divers, mothers, doctors, students, plumbers, waitresses, bus drivers, actors or presidents. People from all walks of life and profession linked simply by the desire for a living and clean Ocean resplendent with mega fauna such as sharks and Manta Rays.

    8 out of 2500 claimed
  • $20USD
    Ocean Guardian

    Get your name in the final film credits and be a part of this project to help protect future populations of protected shark species and manta rays in Indonesian waters.

    31 out of 1250 claimed
  • $75USD
    Shark Style

    Proudly wear a project Tee shirt that will be developed once filming is complete. You will also be listed with the Ocean Guardians in the credits. When you select this option please also state the size required in the PayPal special instructions text option. *Tees will start shipping at the end of September 2014.

    13 out of 350 claimed
  • $125USD
    Megafauna Missionary

    For those taking this perk select a beautiful fine art print from either a Manta Ray, a Reef Shark or a Whaleshark. Printed on canvas and measuring 25" or 63CM on the longer side. They will be shipped in a reinforced shipping tube. You will also get the project Tee shirt and your name in the film credits. Please also indicate which print you would like along with the size of Tee shirt required in the appropriate PayPal special instructions text area. *Tees will ship at end of September 2014.

    4 out of 250 claimed
  • $250USD
    Project Steward

    Receive an autographed copy of the final project DVD, the fine art print on canvas, the Project Tee-Shirt and your name in the film credits when you select this perk. As per the other perks please indicate Tee-Shirt size and print selection in the PayPal instructions text area. *Tees will ship at end of September 2014.

    3 out of 200 claimed
  • $500USD
    FINdonesia Ambassador

    Select this perk and on top of all of the additional perks to this point you will also get your name mentioned in the project insert of the DVD as a special thanks from the filmmakers to you for your support. *Shipping of Tees will commence at the end of September 2014

    1 out of 50 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    Production Affiliate

    You have an Ocean related conservation NGO and are looking for a joint venture? We are offering conservation related entities the option of receiving a full 'produced in association with' credit. You will also receive one of each of the previous perks as mentioned above. *Tees will ship at end of September 2014.

    0 out of 5 claimed
  • $2,500USD
    Assistant Producer

    Receive Associate Producer title on the finished film project and also receive a VIP Invitation to attend a screening at a film festival in your country or nearest country where we will be submitting the film. You also receive a copy of the DVD and project Tee. *Tees will ship at end of September 2014.

    0 out of 4 claimed
  • $12,500USD
    Executive Producer

    Two slots available for this perk. Get your name in lights as the Executive Producer plus a VIP invitation to one International and one National film festival screening of the finalized project. You will also receive a project Tee, a signed Bluray DVD and fine art print from the location. *Tees will ship at end of September 2014.

    0 out of 2 claimed
  • $12,500USD
    Fund Matcher

    The fund matcher is someone who would be willing to match the funds raised should we hit 50% funded so as to allow this project to reach its intended goal. This will allow us to concentrate in hitting a 50% target. All perks as per Executive Producer and can be discussed prior to the Fund Matcher signing up. *Shipping of Perks as per Executive Producer outline with Tee's commencing September 2014

    0 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
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