An award-winning filmmaker describes three decades of work with dolphins. In this compelling memoir, Jones, best known for his documentaries on marine life, recounts his experience filming and interacting with dolphins. His work initially began in 1978 after he learned about cruel fishing techniques that rely on dolphins to catch tuna, often leading to mass deaths of dolphins. Jones decided to produce a film documenting dolphins underwater in their natural habitat, a feat considered impossible by marine experts, including the esteemed Jacques Cousteau. Fortunately, with the help of treasure diver Bob Marx, Jones learned of an unusually friendly school of dolphins living in the Bahamas. With a small crew, Jones worked with the school to create his first film Dolphin, and thus began his lifelong desire to document and protect these intelligent aquatic animals. Over the next three decades, Jones made several films for PBS, National Geographic, Discovery and more; co-founded Bluevoice.org to protect dolphins and whales; and created film footage that helped spur a public outcry against Starkist Tuna's fishing techniques (reformed practices and the Starkist "dolphin safe" label were born as a result). Jones writes in an engaging, conversational tone and readers will find the segments describing human interaction with wild dolphins fascinating as they attempt to communicate through an underwater piano and a dolphin call generator. While the book occasionally veers toward sappy descriptions of humans connecting and cavorting with dolphins, accounts of the marine mammals' sheer intelligence are astounding. In more personal sections, Jones juxtaposes his film work with his battle with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer linked to the same toxic chemicals that affect dolphins. Indeed, a central theme of the book is that the animals face an uncertain future, threatened by destructive fishing techniques and a rising number of ocean contaminants. A moving, effective tale that urges readers to place greater importance on environmental conservation. --Kirkus Reviews, June 7, 2011
About the Author
Hardy Jones has been a pioneer in filming dolphins, killer whales and sperm whales underwater in the wild. He began the struggle to end the slaughter of dolphins in Japan in 1979. Jones graduated from New Canaan Country School, Choate School and Tulane University. He was awarded a CBS News Foundation Fellowship to Columbia University where he studied international law. At CBS News, Jones worked as a researcher, writer and in the election and space units. He went on to become news director and on-air anchor at the CBS affiliate in Anchorage, Alaska. Prior to working at CBS Jones served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru. In 2003 Hardy Jones was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer connected to chemical pollutants. He has fought to alert the public and governments to the danger of toxins in the marine food chain and their linkage to disease in dolphins and human beings. He was won numerous awards for his films, including Lifetime Achievement Award from International Wildlife Film Festival, A Genesis Award from the Humane Society of the United States, Wildlife Filmmaker of the Year from Wildscreen and an Explorer’s Club Award as well as many others. Currently Jones is executive director of BlueVoice.org. He is on the Ocean Council of Oceana. He and his wife Deborah Cutting live on Anastasia Island just off Saint Augustine, Florida. They share their lives with a Chow named Chou Chou, and two cats - Buddy and Gracie. From a nearby beach they frequently see dolphins and, during the winter, right whales.