Reviewed by Marc Zucker
This is the second of the four–part series One Ocean. In this episode the focus turns from the origins of the ocean to the impact humans have been having on the oceans and their shores. Narrated by David Suzuki, the film emphasizes both the social aspects and the economic impacts of various cultures.
We are taken through the dangers of a collapse of the ecosystem and hear an extended discussion on the impact of fishing on the Bluefin tuna, the impact of climate change on Zanzibar, and the reduction of the biodiversity both there and elsewhere. From the Nile delta, to the Gulf of Mexico, to the Baltic Sea, a wide lens is focused on the impact that humans have and continue to have on the oceans. Particular attention is given to the Dead Zones of the Gulf of Mexico and the Baltic Sea and the toxic effects that have been felt there. Notable among those is the discovery of female fish with male reproductive tissue.
The episode ends with some bright points, especially an interview with Dr. Bill Valentine of the Goat Island Marine Reserve in New Zealand. The effects of the reserve bring glimmers of hope to this otherwise darkly–tinged video. As opposed to the first episode, in this serious, though still visually stunning (especially the images of the Marine Reserve in New Zealand) episode we get to see more of the underbelly of the ocean, the things that have gone wrong. Toxic effects, commercialized fishing on certain species, and the result of toxins on the water and its inhabitants. But similar to other episodes in the series, the viewer is drawn in both by the narrative and the visuals. Students will love the views and insights. In addition, teachers will appreciate the message.
Review posted on 1/16/2013