Fish of Paradise


Produced by Jon Rawlinson and Ian McLeod.

Locally based sport fisheries in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have the potential to provide stable alternative livelihoods and new income streams to support food security for PNG’s coastal villages as a result of increased income, in addition to building resilience to external impacts such as climate change and fluctuations in commodity prices. Moreover, development of sport fishing (recreational catch-and-release angling for iconic game fish) is a major initiative that would support extensive capacity building across science, business and tourism, and generate significant environmental benefits by: (1) conserving vital fisheries resources and converting unsustainable capture fisheries into viable release fisheries; (2) providing the incentive and knowledge for local communities to support ecosystem health and resilience and to conserve the target species’ key habitats; and (3) promoting the ideal of sustainable resource use.

The project has wide support from the PNG government departments, local industry and current PNG sport-fishing operators. The objectives is to develop a thorough understanding of key social, economic and environmental issues that support a sustainable and resilient sport-fishing industry by (1) developing an understanding of relevant aspects of the ecology and biology of Black Bass sport-fish resources of PNG; (2) devising protocols for the appropriate conduct of a sport fishery in a PNG context to maximise its resilience and long-term viability; (3) developing an understanding of potential livelihood costs and benefits and how to manage them; and (4) determining the commercialisation needs of a sport-fishing industry in a PNG context.

The aim of this project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Papua New Guinea National Fisheries Authority (NFA) is to empower NFA, PNG Tourism Promotion Authority, and business and community groups to sustainably develop, grow and manage the expanding sport fishing industry in Papua New Guinea. This industry has the ability to provide stable alternative livelihoods and new income streams to support food security for PNG’s coastal villages.

The Road Not Taken

Marlon Brando’s private island Tetiaroa

“The Polynesian people have a contribution to make to the rest of the world. Tahiti does not have the reputation it enjoys without reason. Tahiti is not pie in the sky, it is real. It is not a myth so much as a way of looking at life … a life that can be described as chiffon in the wind.”
– Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando was passionate about preserving Tetiaroa’s natural beauty, astonishing biodiversity and cultural richness. He also was a visionary, and had great plans for Tetiaroa as a model for sustainability and a place where world-shaping ideas might spawn.

Marlon Brando first came to Tetiaroa while filming Mutiny on the Bounty and was immediately smitten with the island’s beauty and the sense it gave of being closer to paradise. Enchanted by the Polynesian way of life (and especially by leading lady Tarita, the love of his life), he resolved to own the island and succeeded in this goal in 1967. It was in this natural wonderland that he settled down, and finally found a home.

Despite his disappointments in business, Brando was passionate about preserving Tetiaroa’s natural beauty, astonishing biodiversity and cultural richness. In 1999 he asked Richard Bailey, a long-time resident of Tahiti who would create and operate some of the region’s finest resorts, to help him conceive a plan that would help Brando achieve his dream. Together, Brando and Bailey formed a partnership to pursue a vision of creating the world’s first and foremost post-carbon resort—an island where innovative new technologies would enable a self-sustaining luxury environment for hotel guests, scientific research and full-time residents. The Brando is the legacy of that partnership.

My niece’s hand



My niece’s hand, originally uploaded by jonrawlinson.

Sunset in Moorea, French Polynesia

Settin up a Gopro shot on a Landrover

The stunning blue water above Bora Bora