Yann Scussel is a budding adventurer. Passionate from an early age by water sports, as he says so well “water is my element”. Yann is representative of this new generation which is interested in the environment, his idols Mike Horn and Nicolas Hulot have given him a certain taste for adventure. During his mature work, he chose to go to Fiji on the boat of an NGO committed to the preservation of sharks. With this experience Born his new project “Chasing the tiger”, Scuba People the free online magazine to interview Yann Scussel a promising young adventurer.
1- Yann Scussel Hello, you are at the origin of a project called “Chasing the Tiger”. Can you introduce yourself ?
Hello Chris, my name is Yann Scussel, I am 18 years old and I live in Geneva, Switzerland. I am currently a college student (the equivalent of high school in France) and outside of school, I am an “adventurer” in particular by organizing numerous projects related to the environment, diving or exploration in general. .
2- Can you explain to us what your project is, what its format will be, and why did you choose this topic?
“Chasing the Tiger” centers around the making of images and a short film about tiger sharks in the Bahamas. It aims to educate young people about the cause of the preservation of sharks which are too often victims of their reputation. I chose this subject because I carried out research work on human / shark cohabitation in Fiji last year, in particular on the bull shark, in order to confront the theory of books with the reality on the ground. So I spent a month there and on my return I had the idea of “Chasing the Tiger”, because my research work was still very academic and I was particularly looking to be able to better express my opinion on this subject.
3-There are already many projects on sharks, how does "Chasing the Tiger" differ? What are your expectations?
"Chasing the Tiger" is particularly differentiated by the message conveyed and the vector of it. Indeed, the goal will not only be to bring back beautiful images but especially to transmit a message of awareness through my person hoping to show that young people are able to act at their level for environmental, environmental or good preservation of sharks.
4- What steps did you take to find funding for this footage?
I have been lucky since my project in Fiji to be the youngest Ambassador of Alpina Watches (prestigious Swiss watch brand) and to be supported by Olympus et Cressi as part of my future projects. As a result, short film funding comes mainly from my sponsors.
5- How did you meet Phil Simha ? What will be his role in the realization?
It was Olympus, of which Phil is an ambassador for the underwater image, who offered to associate him with the project. Indeed, when I told my sponsor about “Chasing the Tiger”, I was looking for an underwater photographer / cameraman and I had heard about Phil's work. I got in touch with him thanks to this intermediary and he immediately joined the project, it was done very quickly (laugh).
6- With the short film, do you intend to innovate the genre? Are you going to use technological innovations? If so, what are they and how did you choose them?
With this project, we intend to bring a young vision of this problem that is the preservation of sharks and which has already been so often treated by adults. Having youth as a target audience will help to sensitize the part of the population that will really be able to take action to save these species and, perhaps, improve the image of these animals in the collective imagination. We will use the latest technologies available to produce a clip with high quality images, including drones. We hope to have access to I-Bubble, the underwater drone of which Phil is ambassador, but its use is not yet confirmed, in particular because there is little recoil on the impact that its presence can have on the behavior of the sharks.
7- When does the project start and what is the expected release date? The film will be broadcast on which platform? Do you have a website?
We will be in the Bahamas from April 20-26, 2019 and there is not yet a scheduled release date for the general public. However, the preview will take place on Thursday June 6 at 19:30 p.m. at the Plan-les-Ouates communal room in Geneva and will be open to everyone. The film will then be broadcast on the internet and social networks and also freely available on Youtube in particular. The distribution platform is not yet defined, we are currently in discussion with several platforms. I don't have a website yet, but apart from the communications made by my sponsors, I mainly communicate through my Instagram account: @yann_scussel (I don't have a Facebook).
8- You decided to talk about the environment and nature with this film. Recently following the actions and speeches of the young Swedish Greta Thunberg there has been a wave of interest by the new generations for the environment. Has Greta Thunberg been a source of motivation for you? What do you think of what she says?
I admire Greta Thunberg's commitment to raising awareness among young people about environmental causes and showing that everyone can act at their own level! The fact that she is still only a teenager shows that young people are capable of making a difference and I fully agree with what she says.
9- Tiger sharks are regularly fished in Australia and Reunion, especially for the protection of surfers or bathers, what do you think of this situation?
In my opinion, this is not a realistic long-term solution and studies show it. For example, in the state of Queensland, Australia, more than three quarters of the tiger shark population present in these waters was reported to have been decimated in just under 50 years as part of a fishing program, in order to "regulate" the shark population and limit accidents with humans. I think we should instead favor non-lethal solutions such as observation posts installed on beaches, to prevent bathers or acoustic beacons that have a similar role. We must not forget that sharks have a key role in the marine ecosystem and their disappearance would lead to a real ecological disaster that would affect us as well.
10- Do you intend to make other films? Other expeditions? If so are you going to keep the environment as the main theme?
I have plenty of projects in mind, currently I am preparing my parallel project for crossing Europe and Asia to swim (Bosphorus) which will take place in August in the region of Dardanelles in Turkey. I also have other projects and expeditions in preparation but I can not say anything for the moment, we must keep some mystery (laugh). What is certain is that I will continue to maintain an ecological component in all my future projects, because it is something that is particularly close to my heart!
11- If you could only take one object with you in the Bahamas what would it be and why do you choose this one in particular?
As always, my Swiss Army Knife. I know it's very cliché, but it's always useful in case of glitches, especially when you take a lot of material and you don't have the possibility of walking around with a toolbox on you!
Photo of Yan Scussel