The Last Great Sport Fish

This is an excerpt from Paul Greenberg's article in the New York Times Magazine. The article is a must read if you care one iota about the preservation of one the world's great species. Just like elephants, lions, tigers and rhinos, the bluefin tuna deserves to be protected. Just because we cannot see it does not mean we should turn a blind eye. Would you stand by as the last elephant was slaughtered for it's tusks or a silver backed gorilla was shot dead? We are at a seminal moment in the history of our oceans great species. Do you care or do we not? Would you willingly eat an endangered species? It is simple.

“WE FIND OURSELVES in a precarious situation.” So wrote Ritchie Notar, a co-owner of the internationally acclaimed Nobu restaurant chain, to Greenpeace U.K. back in 2008 after Greenpeace intensified its tuna-defense efforts and put forward the idea that bluefin should no longer be served at Nobu’s establishments. “We are dealing with thousands of years of cultural customs,” Notar continued in correspondence Greenpeace forwarded to me. “The Japanese have relied on tuna and the bounties of the sea as part of their culture and history for centuries. We are absolutely appreciative of your goals and efforts within your cause, but it goes far beyond just saying that we can just take what has now all of a sudden been declared an ‘endangered’ species off the menu. It has to do with custom, heritage and behavior.”

Link to the article http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/magazine/27Tuna-t.html?pagewanted=all

Share the experience, sell the dream...Full Throttle Media! FTM Seth Horne

Brand Focus

Food for thought this morning. After you launch your brand, you are only as good as the product and performance you deliver, and the brand promise has to be lived up to. If the promise has been very substantial and the performance has been average, that’s going to put you in a bigger hole than if the promise was modest and the performance has been average. With that in mind, why do I see so many folks in positions of controlling the marketing and brand strategy, as well as it's implementation, with absolutely no idea what they are doing? The silence is deafening. Even worse, you cannot even convince them to do what is in their best interest because they do not know what their interest is to begin with. If you have ineffective or inefficient people in positions that impact your brand, get rid of them. The economic and business environment we find ourselves in today is the perfect excuse to ease your burden and bring in new talent. Keep the ideas flowing.

Share the experience, sell the dream...Full Throttle Media! FTM Seth Horne


Fish Out of Water

There are people willing to make sacrifices that many of us cannot even begin to imagine. They do this out of selflessness. How many of you have considered helping someone who has put their life on the line to protect the very freedoms we take for granted each and every day. Personally, I congratulate the men and women who serve in the military. The fine men and women at Explore.org have really made the effort to extend their hands to those who have served their country by helping soldiers connect with nature. Their film production  "Fish Out of Water" is a wonderful piece. We should all think of ways to extend our hands and make the gesture to say thanks. Whether through our words or our actions, we should all give back.

Share the experience, sell the dream...Full Throttle Media! FTM Seth Horne


Long Format Film Based Marketing with Full Throttle Media

It was early last year and I was pitching a film based marketing plan to a business. Full Throttle Media's idea was to shoot a longer format feature segment and then edit down to multiple 2-3 minute clips for promotional purposes. The long format would be used for streaming, download, trade shows or more interactive sales situations and the short disseminated through broadcast means online. Any way, they had their hired content expert on site and all she could say was “Short format is the only thing that works. It has to be less than 30 seconds.” Sigh! I was offering direct access to the audience they most needed by means of a multimedia production communicated across multiple platforms and she was focused on print advertising. Needless to say, they could not make a decision on my proposal and eventually ended up doing nothing.

Where are they today? Nobody knows and the content expert was fired. Gee, I wonder why. This company is still in business struggling to position their brand with their target consumer. What I mean by nobody knows is that they spent "hundreds of thousands" of dollars listening to the content expert and got butkus. They are no more known today than they were a year and a half ago.

A new report from eMarketer shows continued growth in US online video viewers over the last year and projections for further growth going forward. The kernel in this report reveals that while online video viewership was increasing rapidly, the streaming and downloading of full length productions was experiencing even more dramatic growth. Internet users are moving beyond snack size clips and embracing full length features online.

Well, I have another appointment with these guys.

Share the experience, sell the dream...Full Throttle Media! FTM Seth Horne


Shark Finning

A recent article in a local Costa Rican newspaper got me thinking about just how irresponsible so many are when it comes to our oceans. Don't for a second get me wrong, I love making money and begrudge no person for pursuing wealth and fame, but when that profit comes at the expense of simple conservation principles I cringe. This article detailed the plight of several Taiwanese fishermen that were being held captive on a Costa Rican registered fishing vessel and forced to haul sharks out of the sea for their fins.

If I have said this once, I have said it to the point of exhaustion, we are in a race to catch the last fish. Now, I could go into detail about the cramped harsh conditions the workers were kept in and the 20 hour work days, but my focus is on the reckless and idiotic practice of shark finning. As the world's demand for sharks continues to grow, shark populations are plummeting. Sharks are particularly vulnerable to overfishing because they grow slowly, are late to mature and produce relatively few young. Currently more than a fifth of shark species are listed as threatened with extinction.

Shark finning, huh! What the hell kind of practice is that? Finning consists of hauling sharks out of the water, slicing just their fins off and then tossing their bodies, often still alive, overboard to rot in the water. The fins are then sold to Asian markets for use in “delicacies” like shark fin soup. Why would anybody want to eat a sharks fin? Because, it gives you virility, or so the story goes.

This is a horrible and destructive fishing technique that has been going on for years and you would think it would be illegal in most civilized countries. But, not in Costa Rica, where all things are green and the people love nature. I bet most people do not even know this savage practice takes place in this country. Here is one caveat, while selling shark fins is not illegal in Costa Rica, removing the appendages before docking is prohibited. Ohhhh, that's so much better. What, are you kidding me? When the fins are worth so much more than the bodies, finners prefer to cut the fins off at sea and dump the carcass back into the ocean. You know, who needs those pesky shark bodies taking up valuable space in the cargo hold.

Even though it is illegal to land fins without the shark in Costa Rica, there is little or no enforcement to worry about. I have witnessed first hand fishermen hauling basket after basket of just fins onto the beach. Odd you might think. Not really! The Asian market where these fins are sold has no regard for the oceans or how many thousands of tons of sharks are killed each year for their fins.

“The Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications has said that the Taiwanese boats had all the necessary permits to fish for sharks in Costa Rican waters and that, as far as fishing is concerned, the owners of the ships did not commit any crimes.” This quote is taken from Mike McDonald at the Tico Times. They had the proper permits and no crimes were committed. How sad this commentary is for the world. And the more curious aspect of the story is that the enslaved fishermen tell a different story. They say they were hauling in fish after fish and slicing off their fins while at sea. Huh, who should we believe?

Whether this takes place in Costa Rica or any other country, practices like this must stop. We are emptying our oceans at an ever increasing and alarming rate. Metric tons of sharks, tuna, swordfish, marlin and so many more species are being harvested to feed our appetites for fish. This is unsustainable. How many excuses can we come up with for why we should continue with the status quo? Large scale international commercial fishing operations are a scourge to our planet. Maybe one day you won't be able to buy shark fin soup or a tuna steak. What then?

Share the experience, sell the dream...Full Throttle Media! FTM Seth Horne