For many years, the ocean has supplied plenty of inspiration to writers, and filmmakers alike. Not to mention the endless hours of investigation and study it has afforded many scientists who are fascinated by its mysteries. As evidenced by the recent popularity of documentaries, visual media is also a very effective tool for promoting awareness about the ocean.
Ocean documentaries such as Mission Blue and Seaspiracy are among the many documentaries that range from pollution and overfishing to awe-inspiring marine life programs. In this article, we look at the numerous fascinating documentaries that investigate the ocean’s current wonders and perils, as well as the insurmountable odds scientists and deep-sea explorers face in their efforts to conserve it.
Mission Blue is a remarkable film that illustrates the challenges afflicting today’s seas by following the life and efforts of renowned marine researcher Dr Sylvia Alice Earle. It examines the threats to many marine species posed by pollution, climate change, and overfishing. The Sylvia Earle Alliance was founded in response to Mission Blue’s enormous success and the international awareness it garnered.
Mission Blue is available to stream on Netflix.
Sharkwater Extinction is about filmmaker Rob Stewart, who traverses the world to document unlawful shark fishing. He exposes the multibillion-dollar illicit shark-products market and the underlying political corruption perpetrated by powerful criminal organisations. This beautiful yet gut-wrenching documentary was director Rob Stewart’s final film which he was working on at the time of his death in a diving accident in January 2017. The film was completed by the Rob Stewart Foundation in collaboration with director Sturla Gunnarsson and editor Nick Hector.
Sharkwater Extinction is available to stream on Amazon Prime.
Ali Tabrizi, a British filmmaker, stars in Seaspiracy, a thought-provoking documentary about the environmental impact of fishing. The film looks at a variety of environmental issues affecting seas, such as plastic pollution, ghost nets, and overfishing, and claims that commercial fishing is the primary cause of marine ecosystem degradation. It accuses initiatives such as the Marine Stewardship Council of concealing the environmental damage of fishing and corruption, and instead advocates for marine reserves and the abolition of fish consumption.
Seaspiracy is available to stream on Netflix.
The critically acclaimed documentary Chasing Corals delves into the mystery of coral reefs disappearing at an unprecedented rate around the world. Divers, photographers, and scientists embark on an ocean adventure to discover why coral reefs are disappearing and to reveal the world’s underwater mystery. The success of this documentary prompted the team to establish the “Chasing Coral Campaign,” which aims to preserve and help coral reefs bloom.
Stream Chasing Coral on Netflix.
Fathom follows Dr Ellen Garland and Dr Michelle Fournet, two scientists who investigate humpback whale songs and social communication. It was directed and photographed by Drew Xanthopoulos. They want to learn more about whale society and communication as they embark on parallel study excursions on different ends of the globe. The documentary film demonstrates a great passion and appreciation for the scientific process, as well as the basic human need to understand the world around us.
Fathom is available to stream on Apple TV.
My Octopus Teacher
My Octopus Teacher is a beautiful and heartwarming documentary that follows filmmaker Craig Foster as he develops a relationship with a wild common octopus in a South African kelp forest over the course of a year. Foster began filming the film in 2010, and it took ten years to complete. It was the first South African nature documentary to be a Netflix Original, and it won Best Documentary Feature at the 93rd Academy Awards.
My Octopus Teacher is available to stream on Netflix.
Blackfish is a documentary about killer whale captivity and the hazards it poses to both humans and whales. The film tells the riveting story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale who has killed numerous people while in captivity. On January 19, 2013, the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and also received a BAFTA nomination for Best Documentary. The documentary prompted SeaWorld to announce plans to end killer-whale shows at its theme park in San Diego in 2015.
Blackfish is available to stream on Netflix.