Friday Flick: The Fisherman’s Son

When one of Chile’s most iconic surf spots came under the threat of commercial development, surfer Ramón Navarro, the son of a fisherman, launched a campaign to protect a place critical to his sport and near to his heart.

“I have traveled all around the world only to realize the most amazing place is my own backyard at Punta de Lobos,” said Navarro. “I want to protect this place for the fishermen and surfers who live there now and for the generations to come.”

 

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Patagonia produced and Chris Malloy directed The Fisherman’s Son, in association with Save The Waves. It’s available for free to audiences around the world on Patagonia.com, YouTube and Vimeo – and it’s being distributed along with a call for individuals to take action and help Navarro protect Punta de Lobos forever by donating to Save The Waves.

With leadership from Navarro and support from Save The Waves, local Chileans have so far been effective at holding back the tide of development around Punta de Lobos that would transform the point – impacting surf culture, hurting the local fishing trade and devastating the environment. The area was declared a World Surfing Reserve in 2014.

 

Courtesy Patagonia.com
Courtesy Patagonia.com

But the area remains under serious threat. Crowd-sourced funds generated by the campaign go directly towards the development of a conservation master plan and foundation to protect the point, protecting both the traditional fishing culture and local marine biodiversity.

You can donate to help the campaign here. 100% of funding and t-shirt sales go directly to preserve and protect Punta de Lobos.

 

Courtesy Patagonia.com
Ramón stomps the entry at Waimea Bay during the 2009 Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational. Photo: Scott Soens/courtesy Patagonia.com

The New Localism

The Fisherman’s Son and Patagonia’s campaign to save Punta de Lobos come as part of a new style of environmental activism initiated by Patagonia focused on rallying global support around critical backyard conservation initiatives.

In developing the new campaign framework, Patagonia has drawn on two main sources of inspiration: the sports we love, which allow us to spend time in nature, and the grassroots activists working in their own communities to protect their piece of the planet, which Patagonia has supported for years through the grants program.

The New Localism recognizes we can no longer pass through remote, wild places and trust they will remain that way,” said Hans Cole, Patagonia Environmental Advocacy and Campaigns Manager. “Patagonia is bringing our resources to bear on threats to our planet, far and wide, by telling stories of athletes and activists who remind us we’re all locals living in a global world and we all have a chance to make a difference.”

 

Courtesy Patagonia.com
Courtesy Patagonia.com

Moving forward, Patagonia will be telling stories through films that inspire people to take action – centered around surfing, trail running, fly fishing, skiing and snowboarding, and rock climbing.

For example, Patagonia this spring released Mile For Mile, a film that celebrates Patagonia National Park through the sport of trail running and asks customers to donate money to fund 50 miles of trails needed to complete the park (Patagonia will match every donation). And Defined by the Line, which will be released next week, encourages our customers to help protect a place where climbers have long come for dirty, rowdy adventures – the Bears Ears region in Southeastern Utah.

Each campaign will have a dedicated activism page at Patagonia.com/TheNewLocalism where customers can watch the films, get informed, take action and encourage their friends and family to do the same through social media.

MY VISION FOR PUNTA DE LOBOS

by Ramón Navarro. Excerpted from Patagonia’s The Cleanest Line.

When I was growing up I wanted to help my dad, and be exactly like him: a fisherman. Then a couple of guys blew into town with surfboards and wetsuits and I said, “Wow, this is amazing,” and then I wanted to learn to surf more than anything in the world.

So I learned to surf and started to travel the world, but I figured out pretty fast that the best place to surf was right at home. We have big waves, small waves and the traditional fishing culture I love. Nothing could be better.

 

Ramón with his son and father. Pichelimu, Chile. Photo: Jeff Johnson/courtesy Patagonia.com
Ramón (left) with his son and father. Pichelimu, Chile. Photo: Jeff Johnson/courtesy Patagonia.com

While traveling, I saw many similar coasts around the world that had been polluted or were scarred forever by out-of-control developers. I saw places that were pristine before, but had already been ruined. I realized the coast that I loved so much was also under threat—from pulp mills, sewage pipelines, dams and senseless development.

Chile is an amazing country. I couldn’t be more proud to come from Chile and from Punta de Lobos, to be the son of my dad, a fisherman and diver. I know I have a responsibility to honor the generations before me by protecting the coast. I have to. It’s up to us to make sure there are traditional fishermen (and fish) in the future. It’s our responsibility to ensure our children and their children can see beautiful landscapes and biodiversity.

I was born on Punta de Lobos and I love Punta de Lobos. I’ll fight to protect it, and all of Chile’s coast—but it has nothing to do with what I want. It is for the future.

I know I can’t accomplish much on my own. I think everyone sees the right thing to do: Stand up to save some of these special places before they are gone.

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