Hard Work Down East
I think that connecting people to the land is a requirement for successful conservation efforts. Beautiful images of pristine wilderness can be moving and effective, but they are not sufficient. If people cannot see a connection between healthy ecosystems and the health and well being of themselves, their families and their communities, it will be impossible to generate the broad support needed for lasting policies that protect our environment. Imagery that tells the stories of how everyday people are connected to and dependent on the land and the sea are necessary for success.
This series was made as part of an assignment for Penobscot East Resource Center (PERC) in Stonington, Maine. The goal was to provide a series of images that helps tell the story of lobster fishermen in Downeast Maine – what their day on the water is like, and how much work it is to bring lobster to market. Due to the severe depletion of ground fish in the Gulf of Maine, local fishing communities are heavily dependent on one species – lobster – for their livelihood. This increases pressure to take more lobster, and puts downward pressure on pricing. Restoring ground fisheries in the Gulf of Maine and managing them sustainably is crucial to a diversified, robust, and reliable livelihood for Maine’s fishing communities.
PERC is a non-profit community based organization “… founded on the principle that the only way the resources of the oceans can be protected and sustained is through joint stakeholder stewardship: collective action of fishermen and their communities, supported by science and working in combination with regulatory authorities at all levels”, and whose mission is to “Secure a sustainable future for fisheries and fishing communities in Eastern Maine and beyond” (http://www.penobscoteast.org).