Jean-Michel Cousteau, Ocean Futures Society to Distribute Short Film on Europe's Prestige Oil Disaster

SANTA BARBARA, CA: A new, short film which poignantly documents the vast environmental and human devastation caused by the Prestige oil spill off the coast of Spain and France is available for global distribution to the media, governments, interested organizations, educational institutions and industries.

" Nunca Mais," a six-minute film produced by Jean-Michel Cousteau and Ocean Futures Society, vividly captures the enormous toll taken by the "Black Tide" on European coastal habitats, marine species, migrating birds, and the social and economic fabric of generations of local cultures.

"We are pleased to offer " Nunca Mais" ('Never Again') to the public and international opinion leaders so they can see and hear for themselves the damage already done, and the continuing threat, which looms over the world," Cousteau said. "This is an important visual tool to keep the pressure on industry and governments to responsibly protect the environment."

In December 2002, a single-hulled oil tanker named the Prestige ruptured and sank off the Galician coast of Spain. Since then, more than 150 tons of oil per day has poisoned the ocean in Spain and France, changing the way of life for animals and humans alike. Experts predict the spill, which is twice as large as the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, will continue to leak its highly toxic cargo until at least 2006.

Cousteau said the OFS film calls attention to the urgent need for proper management and strict enforcement of ocean-going transportation, a ban on single-hulled tankers, and the creation of an international task force for quick response to maritime accidents.

In " Nunca Mais," Cousteau explores with sensitivity the plight of the Spanish people and their efforts to remove the oil at sea with simple nets, and by hand on the beach, stone by stone, along hundreds of miles of spoiled coastline. He also observes firsthand local civil unrest bringing about " Nunca Mais"-a political movement spearheading mass demonstrations against the Spanish government's failure to act. Cousteau's OFS film team captured the footage in two recent trips to the spill site in January.

The short film features local eyewitnesses, including residents, fishermen, storekeepers and environmentalists, living and working in the area. The viewer is introduced to individuals personally affected by the spill who have seen their livelihood and the future of their communities ruined.

Cousteau also compares the uncanny similarity of the Prestige disaster with the extensive damage caused by the Exxon Valdez spill 13 years ago.

"In both cases, we see the inevitable social disruption of communities of people who face tremendous dislocation and economic upheaval for years to come," Cousteau said. "The news media initially focused on the immediate effects—wildlife killed or harmed, spoiled beaches and thousands of volunteers desperately clearing away heavy, oil-soaked sand. But, the long-term social effects are even more devastating."

A VHS version of " Nunca Mais," partially funded by a donation from NAUSICAA, is available for a small fee to cover the cost of duplication, shipping and handling. To obtain a copy, send your name and address, along with a check or money order for $5.00 to:

" Nunca Mais," Ocean Futures Society, 325 Chapala St., Santa Barbara, CA, 93101 or call (805) 899-8899, dial ext. 103 and place a credit card order. Please allow two weeks for delivery.

The mission of Ocean Futures Society is to explore the global ocean, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for its protection, documenting the critical connection between humanity and nature, and celebrating the ocean's vital importance to the survival of all life on our planet. The organization is based in Santa Barbara, California, USA and Paris, France.