New “Jungle Fish” Film Explores How Fly Fishing Could Save Guyana's Rainforest, Amerindian Culture
North Rupununi, Guyana – May 21, 2012 – Could the fate of a people be tied to a fly rod? In the new feature film directed by Louisiana Kreutz and produced by Costa Sunglasses, “Jungle Fish” explores how sport fishing could preserve an Amerindian culture and protect and endangered species at the same time.
The film focuses on Rewa, a remote fishing village in the north Rupununi region of central Guyana, population approximately 280. The country has one of the highest levels of bio diversity on the planet, with 80 percent of the region still covered in rain forest. Rewa’s most valuable resource is its pristine, undeveloped river system, home to one of the largest freshwater fish on the planet, the arapaima.
Three expert fishermen – Oliver White, Matt Breuer and Nathan Webber – undertook a two-week voyage deep into the heart of Guyana’s rainforest. Their mission: to demonstrate the arapaima could be caught with a fly rod, a feat never before accomplished. If they succeeded, it would prove the country’s fledgling sport fishing industry is viable, signaling a brighter future for the native people, the rainforest they call home and the endangered arapaima itself.
For decades, the native people of Guyana depended on extractive efforts like poaching, mining and clear cutting as a way to generate income. But unlike resource extraction practices which can quickly destroy an environment, a sustainable sport fishing business offers a way for the people of Rewa to gain economic independence for things like improved healthcare and education programs within the village, without depleting any of the area’s pristine natural resources.
It’s a model which, if proven successful in Guyana, is already being studied for the potential to replicate in other indigenous areas around the world.
“We see the initiative in Rewa as having a cascading effect,” said Al Perkinson, executive producer of the film, and active partner in the conservation project. “There must be fish in order for a sport fishing business to flourish, which means there must be responsible commercial fishing and healthy habitat practices in place. A healthy habitat is achieved through responsible development in and around the water, by implementing policies that promote clean water, and by other environmentally sound practices on land like forest management and agriculture. So while the ultimate goal is to protect the fish, the means by which they are protected affects the entire eco-system in a positive way.”
The Rewa Eco Lodge, which employs everyone within the village as cooks, hosts and fishing guides, is now open for business hosting small groups of anglers at a time. It’s currently booked through 2012. Perkinson is working with the Guyanese government to establish best practice policies and procedures to ensure the fishery and the surrounding area remain a protected habitat.
“Jungle Fish” is now available for purchase online at www.costadelmar.com/protect . Visit www.costadelmar.com/protect to watch a short trailer and see epic behind-the-scenes photographs from the project.
For Costa, the leading manufacturer of the world’s clearest polarized performance sunglasses, conservation is all about sustainable fishing. Many fisheries that should be vibrant and healthy are all but devoid of native fish because they have fallen victim to poor fishing practices, unregulated development, lack of watershed protection or all of the above. Costa works with partners around the world to help increase awareness and influence policy so that both the fish and fishermen of tomorrow will have healthy waters to enjoy. Costa encourages others to help in any way they can.
Costa offers superior lens technology and unparalleled fit and durability. Still handcrafted today in Florida, Costa creates the highest quality, best performing sunglasses on the planet for outdoor enthusiasts.
For more information, contact 1-800-447-3700 or visit the company’s web site at www.costadelmar.com. Join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/costadelmar.com, on Twitter @CostaSunglasses, or on The Watery Rave blog.
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Liza Jones, 864.672.9615 (office), 864.270.0722 (cell)