Jelly Strobulation Still

Watch Short Documentary

After nearly 20 years participating in the Volunteer Dive Program for the Omaha Zoo, Patrick Barton of Barton Visions was asked to participate in a rare opportunity and travel with Andrew (Andy) Hinrichs to Walvis Bay, Namibia in Africa.

The project was incredibly vague in the beginning. Andy initially contacted Barton Visions in 2014 pursuing contacts in South Africa as he was interested in a specific Jellyfish native to this area of the world.  Through Social Media, Barton Visions made some introductions to dive contacts in South Africa and later that led to Andy establishing a partnership with two African companies. The first being Oceans Research and the second being Namibian Dolphin project.

Andy, Senior Aquarist for Omaha Zoo and Pat Barton, President of Barton Visions LLC, went to work producing a timeline and plan to outline required funding allowing a team to spend the appropriate time in South Africa. This time would be spent to collect the Jellies of interest and then to see how far Andy could replicate the Lifecycle of the jellies in a Laboratory setting.

In creating the budget for Barton Visions for the photography was included. Patrick Barton being a PADI MSDT (Master SCUBA Diver Trainer) would also be responsible for all diving related activities. Initially, we would be photographing the species in water for later identification and eventually these desires led to capturing microscopic samples with the Nikon Photographic equipment and continued to evolve to capturing film footage of the entire process in Namibia.

The budget was a approved and that is when the project became most interesting. Barton Visions assisted the Omaha Zoo in acquiring some of the initial approval and filing the appropriate documents.  The Omaha Zoo contracted the application for work Visas, but Namibia also required filming Visas to be in place prior to getting approved work visas.   The application process for filming in Namibia very tedious and at time worrisome. Barton Visions did secure the proper documentation within a comfortable time frame.
The partnership of the Omaha Zoo, Oceans Research, Namibian Dolphin Project and Barton Visions began.

We spent 27 days in Walvis Bay and were met with wonderful hospitability by the local community. Our local partners Barry Mc Govern of the Namibian Dolphin Project and Enrico Gennari of Oceans Research were invaluable to our success.

The early days into Namibia were rough on Andy as we were not finding the Chrysaora Fulgida, but about a third into the visit we did find the species.

We currently are awaiting genetic testing on the specimens we brought to Omaha. The Omaha Zoo has a display of the Jellies and they are thriving.  Barton Visions created a brief documentary that runs in a loop next to the exhibit.

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