A FEW years ago I received a phone call from an Australian man called Brad asking me if I fancied learning to dive.
He had moved to the island to be with his partner Bea and was setting up his Dive business, Ondine Escape and a conservation programme, Associaíon Ondine. He struck me as a positive, charismatic person who bubbled with enthusiasm and humour. It took me a little longer to discover the streak of iron running through his personality which gave him his stubborn, dogged determination and perseverance. Over the years that I have known Brad he has taught me to dive, taken me swimming in a tank of sharks, shown me sting rays, and inspired an interest in me about marine conservation and made it understandable to me. I’m by far not the only person who he has inspired: David Diley, who is a documentary film maker specialising in underwater filming and conservation topics, has just put the finishing touches to his new film ‘A Ray of Light, 2’. “The movie is about the importance of sting rays in the waters around Mallorca, and it’s about the struggles of someone like Brad who is working from the grassroots to change both the physical realities of sea life in the Med, and the mentality of the people who live and work here.”
The first film which David made a couple of years ago was a big success with online views from all over the world and more than 100,000 hits. He says it was a surprise to him how popular it was, and indeed still gets views now. “It was a retrospective on the situation in Mallorca, but the new film is more detailed and tells more about the struggles that Brad and Assocacíon Ondine continue to face. It shows the process of catching, tagging and releasing the sting rays, and explains why Ondine is doing this and why the stingrays are so important”.
Without a healthy ocean our beautiful home, our island, is going to suffer. The world itself will suffer if the seas are not now preserved and nurtured rather than continue to be raked and ravaged. Encouraging and supporting local conservation projects is vital. We should all be there at the Aquarium next week. I’ll save you a seat shall I?
‘A Ray of Light, 2’ is going to be premiered next Thursday 30th October 7pm at Palma Aquarium. The event is free of charge and open to the public.