Finally the Sandgrains trailer is finished!
In 4 years of production we have gone through many versions, every time updating it with the latest.
Now we finally got to the final version, edited with material from the final cut of the film.
You can watch it in the 7 different languages the documentary will be released in.
A huge thanks to Jordie who edited it, Filippo who graded it, Mirco for the amazing audio and tracks and last but not least all the supporters who made the film possible.
Finally the Sandgrains trailer is finished!
As this is our last production update from Cape Verde and West Africa, we would like to share a discovery with you which we made during our stay in Mindelo, on the island of Sao Vicente. We decided to not go public with our progress because we needed to investigate something that has been proved to be a legal mess allowing unregulated and destructive fishing practices.
The European Union has an agreement with Cape Verde to fish highly migratory species, namely tuna. But Spanish and Portuguese vessels actually target sharks because of the high value of their fins on the Asian markets. This is done at the fringes of what is legal but it's having dramatic consequences on the local population. It is not illegal because the agreements are unclear and can be interpreted in various ways. But what we know for sure is that this practice goes against the foundation of the agreement, where it is stated that European fishing vessels should work sustainably and not have an impact on resources targeted by locals.
Sharks are top predators and removing them has effects on the entire food chain in the area. Smaller fish that would prefer to be in the open ocean stay close to shore to find refuge from the sharks. Those smaller species that have disappeared mysteriously are what locals have caught for centuries. The pressure created by sharks is now so weak that fish which used to shelter by shore now freely roam the open ocean. Local fishermen can't reach their target species unless they go far out with their little boats (which can have lethal consequences) and shoals are now in reach of international vessels, which can vacuum them up without having to take the risk of fishing them illegally within the 12 mile exclusion zone.
In 2009 the port of Mindelo saw 1400 tons of shark and shark fins. In the following year transshipment of shark products had more than doubled to 3200 tons, and by 2011 this reached 12.000 tons. These numbers are an indication of how worrying the whole situation is but don't represent the entire scale because much fishing remains unreported.
Here you can see the photo gallery for a glimpse of what we filmed during that week of investigation.
On the 25th of February Jordie and Gabriel left Cape Verde to join a Greenpeace vessel near Dakar. The Arctic Sunrise was exploring the seas of West Africa to identify and document supertrawler fishing activities. José was with us and we experienced first-hand the impact of these massive oceanic fish factories. A supertrawler looks like a floating skyscraper; they measure 140 meters in length and can catch up to 250 tons per day. We often saw them fishing in networked groups of nine to identify and scoop up gigantic schools of fish in their entirety. Nothing remains after they pass, aside from a cloud of hungry seagulls.
Our 8 days aboard the ship were used to film action sequences with inflatable rib boats and a helicopter flying around the trawlers. We got key interviews with campaigners that allow us to show the global aspect of the localized stories we had been following in Cape Verde. On a personal note we will never forget this experience; Jordie had his worst days of all of production being battered by sea sickness, while Gabriel came home euphoric for having fulfilled his dream of filming from a helicopter and with fond memories of the dolphins who would gather around our ship at night.
Here is the photo gallery by Pierre Gleizes.
and here you can find a short extract of our helicopter landing on the ship.
All photos copyright of Pierre Gleizes/Greenpeace
WWF is working along Sandgrains to have an impact on the Common Fisheries Policy reform.
We're working towards a European fisheries policy that honours fishery agreements around the world. EU boats must abide by a sustainable fisheries policy wherever they operate to protect people and the environment from the adverse effects of overfishing.
Help us collect enough signatures for WWF's More Fish petition campaign, so that we can ask for a change in the policy.
WWF just published a page on their website to promote the work of the Sandgrains team. Visit this link to know more.