When Andrew Joyce came home to Swans Island, Maine, for a visit in 2020, his father, an 8th-generation fisherman, told him what Maine’s fishing industry was up against, particularly whale rules for lobstermen and wind farms taking bottom from all fisheries.
While Joyce didn’t follow his father, Jason, into fishing, seeing wind farms and other aspects of the Blue Economy threatening his family and community has spurred the veteran video maker into action. So far, he has produced four videos telling the stories of people and the marine ecosystem they depend on in a stand-off with corporate power (Episode 4 lands Friday, Feb. 18).
“When I moved away, I saw how consolidation was changing everything,” says Joyce. “Local barely exists anymore. But I thought Swans Island was safe. We were always years behind the times.” From Joyce’s point of view, the forces bringing arrays of offshore windmills to Maine waters are barreling ahead without adequate consideration for ocean life or communities. “They are just not doing the research,” he says.
“I think most people want to do the right thing, most want to protect the earth and sea,” says Joyce, noting that they want their comforts, too. “The thing is, I’m not sure these conglomerates that promise sustainability are being completely honest with people. There is no evidence that Maine lobstermen are the source of whale entanglements, yet it seems very convenient to get fishermen off the water to make room for wind farms, doesn’t it?”
Joyce is hoping to make a full season of half-hour episodes, a dozen at least, and possibly a feature-length film depicting the values of Maine’s coastal communities and how those communities and marine ecosystems are being affected by big energy megaprojects.
At this point, he hopes to generate financing and raise people’s awareness.
“I’m a videographer, not a journalist,” he says. “I don’t have the resources to do the investigative work, but I’m hoping that these videos inspire some investigation and get people to ask questions about what we want and what we’re actually getting.”
Joyce’s videos are accessible on his YouTube channel “The Maine Reset.”