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Expeditions Ocean Vision


Project Ocean Vision's Expeditions



Oceanic Whitetip
Oceanic Whitetip

Project Ocean Vision is undertaking a series of worldwide marine conservation expeditions - Expeditions Ocean Vision (EOV) - each planned to produce a number of short videos highlighting different aspects of the world's seas or other conservation issues. This series of expeditions started in 2007 is planned to continue for many years to come and follow on from a series of marine conservation expeds that Courtney was involved with whilst serving in the Royal Air Force.

Each of Project Ocean Vision's expedition takes roughly four months to plan and execute and video production can take a further six months after the Team returns from the field. Obviously there is a lot of overlap, so the Team is usually working on three expeds at the same time, planning one and executing or working on video from two others.

There is clearly an issue with worldwide travel and Project Ocean Vision is aware that their requirement to travel in order to film important locations around the world must be minimized in order to reduce their impact on the very environment they seek to conserve. To this end, their aim is always to make maximum use of their time spent in the field. Each expedition is carefully planned to produce a minimum of three videos; this means a tough filming schedule. Moreover, they always seek to minimize their carbon footprint in all aspects of their lives, without being fanatics.

In a recent interview, Courtney summed up their approach:

"Conservation and ecological awareness is a way of life. It has to be balanced against all the other human activities and needs. In order to do our filming, we need to go to the places that are relevant to the subjects of our videos and we acknowledge that our travel contributes to carbon emissions. That's why we make use of every day we are in the field and, being a small, flexible team, we are able to keep our filming schedule busy. We can design and execute a filming schedule that larger operations would find very challenging. We travel light.

You also have to realize that the economies of most the places we travel to rely heavily on tourism. A prime example is the west coast of Thailand. After the 2004 Tsunami the locals really needed travelers to visit the area - I did some marine research and humanitarian work there after the disaster and everyone was saying 'tell them to keep coming'. Like it or not, people depend on tourism. We believe that we must do so responsibly and be careful to offset our impact.

People have to be more aware of what's going on. For example, take a look in the shops and stalls in most of the sunny places we all love to go on holidays. You'll see jewelery made out of coral in so many places. It's only there because people buy it. So it's all about enlightenment and understanding. And, of course persuading people not to support these things that are destructive and unsustainable."

When traveling, equipment is their main concern and keeping their video and dive gear light and to a minimum is a key driver. Typically they limit their hold baggage to 40kg - that's everything - which is a major limitation. Their main items of equipment are: Sony HVR-V1E high-definition video camera and a second Sony standard definition video camera, two digital stills cameras and housings, Ikelite underwater housings for the video cameras, video lighting, tripod, tapes, chargers and cleaning and servicing kit. Their aim is to run their expeditions as a self-sufficient unit. A list of video diaries follows:

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Expedition Ocean Vision 1 Video Diary

Expedition Ocean Vision 2 Video Diary

Expedition Ocean Vision 3 Video Diary

Expedition Ocean Vision 4 Video Diary

Expedition Ocean Vision 5 Video Diary

Expedition Ocean Vision 1

Expedition Ocean Vision 1 (EOV1) was conducted in June 2008 to shoot the video for, amongst others, their short documentary on coral. Entitled simply Coral, it contains some beautiful photography of the stunning marine life in the Red Sea and a fascinating commentary on the coral.

The Team also undertook some diver training and developed their protocols and techniques. This laid the foundations for their future work and provided the opportunity to establish the Project as a viable enterprise.

On the right are links to "A Short Essay on Coral", where you can read a little about coral and see their video documentary, Coral, and to the EOV1 report.

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A Short Essay on Coral
with a link to Project Ocean Vision's
Coral documentary
Return to top of page   EOV1: Post-exped report.

Thai Flag

EOV2 took the Team to Thailand in March and April 2009 to shoot the footage for four documentary videos: a short tourist information video about Bangkok, a documentary on the diving industry in Phuket, marine wildlife in the Similan Islands and the fate of Thailand's elephants. The Team also explored the effects of the 2004 Tsunami on the coral and dependent sea life - following on from earlier research expeditions in 2006 and 2007.

MV Mermaid II
MV Mermaid II
Click here to read our informal
Expedition Ocean Vision 2 Diary

Click here to watch the Expedition Ocean Vision 2 Video Diary
Project Ocean Vision
Project Ocean Vision - Photo by Carol 2008
Click here for our Thailand Travel Guide

Click here to read Courtney's article on Thailand's elephants
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On Expedition Ocean Vision 3, saw the Team return to the Red Sea. The main purpose was to shoot in high definition for their new Coral documentary which will be released in 2010. They also further examined the developing dive industry in the Northern Red Sea and started filming for a longer term project on the Thistlegorm. In all, three videos are planned from the footage taken as well as expanding the Project's high-definition stock footage.

More details will be posted once the Coral video starts to develop. Meanwhile, their Exped Report and Video Diary are available on this site.

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  Expedition Ocean Vision 3
Expedition Ocean Vision 3 - Photo by Carol
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Expedition Ocean Vision 4

Expedition Ocean Vision 4 was to Australia. Classic sites included the Great Barrier Reef where the team were looking at the effects of global warming on the coral and dependent wildlife. Project Ocean Vision was also be filming inland, looking at the wonderful and unique wildlife and, in particular, the tropical rain forest in the north of Queensland. The Team also attended a family wedding in Sydney!

Our Exped Report and Video Diary are available on this site.

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Sophie and Matt's Wedding Saltwater Crocodile
Saltwater Crocodile
Daintree Rainforest
Photo by Carol Courtnage
Bronze Whaler Shark
Bronze Whaler Shark
Carcharhinus brachyurus
From our expedition video diary.
Photo by Courtney.
Click here for our video diary.
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Expedition Ocean Vision 5
Malta Flag

Expedition Ocean Vision 5 was to Malta. This provided an excellent opportunity to see how the dive and tourism industries are developing in Malta and to explore the marine habitats, dive sites, caves and wrecks for which the islands are famed. We were also photographing the maltese temples, churches, castles and architecture.

Most importantly from our film-making perspective, this exped gave us the opportunity to explore a non-coral marine environment, a contrast from our previous expeds.


Expedition Ocean Vision 5 Exped Report and Diary

Expedition Ocean Vision 5 Video Diary

Carol Courtnage
Carol Courtnage and Per Andersen, Malta 2011

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Expedition Ocean Vision 6

EOV6 will be to the Southern Red Sea. Project Ocean Vision will be shooting footage of the local dive industry and the wildlife. The Southern Red Sea is good for larger, pelagic species and we hope to bring home some impressive film. We also want to look at the procedures and practices in place when diving with larger species of sharks - see our Guide to Diving with Sharks.

Egypt Flag - EOV4
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Thai Flag

Expedition Ocean Vision 7 will take the team back to Thailand to finish two of their documentaries and to continue investigations into Thai elephants - this will be an ongoing project expected to be complete in 2017.

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Expedition Ocean Vision 8
Maldives Flag

Expedition Ocean Vision 8 will be to the Maldives. Project Ocean Vision will be shooting footage of the local dive industry and the wildlife as well as the conservation and future of these beautiful islands. With an average of only 1.5 metres above sea level, global warming and the associated potential rise in sea level, the Maldives are under threat.

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Our Previous Conservation Projects

This is a poster, briefly describing the recent marine conservation expeditions that members of the Project have been involved with. The Benthic Monitor and Benthic Orchid series were conceived, organized and led by Squadron Leader Kevin O'Neill, RAF. Benthic Orchid I was conceived after the 2004 Asian Tsunami.

Previous Expeds
Poster © Project Ocean Vision 2008

Return to top of page Expedition Benthic Orchid II Report
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