BLUE The Film – Ocean On A Precipice, Illusion Of Abundance

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Blue A 5BLUE The Film is an outstanding documentary made by a passionate group of advocates for the health and well being of our Oceans. Showing in cinemas around Australia from October 12, take your friends, fans, followers, family and share your experience on facebook too.

The tide for change is upon us. This compelling story has been superbly told, as each Ocean Guardian lays out their facts clearly and succinctly about how our oceans are in great peril.

There is no talk about mythology, only a presentation of facts that have been brilliantly crafted into an informative, knowledge based presentation crafted into an informative, inspirational and memorable film.

Don’t read any more unless you want spoilers.

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Marine biologist, underwater photographer and freediver, Lucas Handley is an Ocean Guardian.

He is the first to appraise us of the hidden crisis happening in our oceans right now, one which has critical implications for the future of our country and our way of life.

Handley works to promote a global approach to ecologically sustainable development of our oceans.

He believes the ocean is his spiritual home and says ‘no matter where we live on the planet we are connected to the sea’ … and, in his lifetime he has seen half of all marine life disappear.

Lucas Handley is physically helping villagers in the Solomon Islands and the Philippines to keep their reefs intact by developing their own ecotourism enterprises.

Blue A 6Stunningly filmed on land by Jody Muston and underwater by Jon Shaw, the film makers set up a narrative between the people and the oceans.

As Jody said “For me the film is a calling for change but with a breath of fresh air to come closer, look deeper.” Using the most advanced filming technology Shaw allows the audience a seemingly real-life glance into the environments he captures on film.

While taking in the story being told, you are in awe of the majesty of the oceans. Having seen it I believe BLUE The Film should be compulsory viewing for everyone. Here in Australia it should certainly be shown to children in Upper Primary and Australian High Schools… we are an island surrounded by oceans, which play a huge role in our life and fate.

The music composed by Ash Gibson Greig has been designed not to ‘… overwhelm the power of the story, but instead negotiate the moods and shifts in pace and place with restrained sensitivity’.

Diver Joel Gonzaga of the Philippine fishing boat 'Vergene' works in and around a skipjack tuna fishing net using just a single plastic air hose connected to a rusty compressor onboard the fishing boat at surface, 12 November 2012. Perhaps the most dangerous fishing method of all, compressor diving is known in the Philippines as 'Pa-aling' diving. According to Gonzaga, who spends months at a time on board the 'Vergene', fatal injuries and deaths occur regularly. The most common cause of death from 'Pa-aling' diving is due to decompression illness, otherwise known as 'the bends'. Dangerous fishing methods such as 'Pa-aling' are a major contributor to the overfishing crisis in and around the Philippines.

Diver Joel Gonzaga of the Philippine fishing boat ‘Vergene’ works in and around a skipjack tuna fishing net using just a single plastic air hose connected to a rusty compressor onboard the fishing boat at surface, 12 November 2012.

BLUE The Film is a chilling very detailed succinct account of an environmental crisis of such proportions you will be staggered by the facts. I cannot tell how utterly bereft I felt after walking out of the cinema after witnessing what is almost the wholesale destruction of the ocean environment during my lifetime – presented so brilliantly. It’s a five star event that is sobering to say the least and shocking – shocking in every way.

Blue A1Filmed over two years in Indonesia, the Philippines, Hawaii and Australia, writer, producer, director Karina Holden’s outstanding documentary is a wake-up call.

Being ever optimistic I will take the word of all these dedicated people and their colleagues around the world who have devoted their lives to safeguarding our oceans when they say there is time.

We still turn this state of affairs around, and save our Oceans BLUE and the fish who live in it, but we have to want to and we need to take urgent action now.

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After seeing the revealing dissertation by Regional Ocean’s campaigner for Greenpeace South East Asia Mark Dia, an Ocean Guardian, who has been a volunteer with Greenpeace since 1994 and by Madison Stewart, activist, conservationist and protector of Sharks it would be hard to ever eat Tuna again.

BLUE 5After spending the morning in a market with Mark Dia in Indonesia where the wholesale slaughter of the Tuna species is carried out without regard to the future of the fishermen and women and most especially for the future of the fish.

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Dia’s wealth of knowledge makes it easy to understand how the species are now on the brink of extinction. From baby fish to adults, netted in the hundreds of thousands by huge fishing conglomerates without any regard for the future of the species, it’s a torrid terrible tale. He and his team audited the tuna canneries of Indonesia and Philippines, tracing the supply chain between fishing fleets and the product sold to consumers.

It’s a difficult, often dangerous task to stop ‘fish laundering’, where illegal seafood is co-mingled with legally caught fish – hiding the true scale of the black market.

Dia wants consumers to know which companies rank as socially responsible, when it comes to the business of seafood. He believes we are facing a seafood crisis, which consumers can help avert.

“When the fish run out, the small scale fishermen will be left starving while the big fishing company owners can go into another business with their fat profits” he said.

Blue A 4He has his work cut out for him. These communities literally have a life-or-death stake in having sustainable fisheries. After the fact, while we may revel in the fact greedy owners may eventually get their comeuppance and go broke, the price by then will certainly be one too high to pay.

Urgent action needs to be taken by governments and individuals to regulate this terrible trade. Otherwise they will have changed the sea forever. Terrible consequences wait if the destruction of our oceans continues unchecked.

Ocean Guardian Madison Stewart, BLUE courtesy Transmission Films

Ocean Guardian Madison Stewart, BLUE courtesy Transmission Films

Madison Stewart has been swimming with sharks on the Barrier Reef in Australia, and watching with her relate the tale of how over 73 million sharks are destroyed to cater for the trade in fins each year is devastating. Shark finning is the inhumane practice of hacking off the shark’s fins and throwing its still living body back into the sea where it slowly dies, starving to death, eaten alive by other fish, or drowned to feed the growing demand for shark fin soup, an Asian “delicacy”.

It is not only a barbarous practice, but also indiscriminate slaughter at an unsustainable rate. Most Australians would be horrified as indeed I am now, to know we participate in the global shark fin trade. How does it happen?

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With sharks globally threatened and the shark fin trade identified as a key cause, we also need to address the problem of shark finning now.

Banning the import and export of shark fin products, to reduce global demand for shark fins is one way. We have to reduce incentives to target endangered sharks in Australian fisheries, and end Australia’s contribution to the decline in shark species.

The Australian Marine Conservation Society has been working to protect Australia’s ocean wildlife since 1965. They have all the facts on their site.

BLUE 3Did you know that very piece of plastic, ever created, still exists on the planet today? Breaking down into ever decreasing sizes through sun exposure and the grinding of the waves.

Growing smaller and smaller, but never going away.

The sight of a sea lion lying on a beach amongst plastic litter and cast off fishing nets is more than disturbing. The cast away fishing nets particularly are a big problem in Australia.

BLUE 8Did you know there is a small group of people up in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Queensland patrolling the sea shore daily. They are collecting cast off nets from illegal fishermen that are thrown away to hide the evidence.

They then drift on the currents onto Australian shores where turtles in particular are caught up in the drifting and beached nets and slowly starve to death.

Phillip MangoPhillip Mango is Senior Nanum Wungthim Land and Sea Ranger. He and his small team operate a highly successful sea turtle rescue operation.

He has six only rangers working with him restoring injured turtles back to health and removing some 13,000 nets from the shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria annually.

Jennifer LaversSea Lions, just like so many other creatures, when found have so much plastic in their stomachs they cannot digest food any more and they die slowly of starvation.

Seabirds particularly are suffering from this fate.

These gentle birds have done so much to fertilise and improve the quality of the land and we are treating them as if they are of little consequence.

Goodness it was agonising to travel with Dr Jennifer Lavers, who is studying what is happening to the seabirds of the world.

A marine eco-toxicologist with expertise in seabird ecology, plastic pollution, invasive species management, and fisheries by-catch, Jennifer Laver is monitoring sea bird colonies long-term in remote locations around the globe.

Blue A 3Her credentials are impeccable. She communicates the issues surrounding marine plastic pollution to the community interested in environmental activities, especially for school groups.

She is hosting dozens of science workshops and seminars every year helping contribute significantly by informing us all of what is really happening out there.

One chick she saves who had reached the point of not being able to feed any more, by flushing out its stomach said it all.

Out came huge quantities of plastic items, bottle tops, shards and pieces of plastic that would have been tearing its little stomach to pieces… it’s all so horrific you do want to cry with shame.

We have done this, we the people, by being irresponsible.

Version 2We have been using the oceans as a dumping ground not thinking about the oceans as a precious resource for humankind, one that has to be safeguarded and cherished if in our own day and age, we are to leave any sort of legacy for those who come after.

Thank heavens we have dedicated people who are passionate advocates for conservation of the natural environment such as this crew and cast.

Knowing what I do I couldn’t help but go off on a tangent and ask perhaps this has happened before. When we mistreat nature as we are now, it’s no wonder it comes back at us throwing hurricanes, damaging winds, localised flooding, earthquakes, Tsunamis, water spouts, tidal waves and whatever else at us in disgust.

Waves CrashingPerhaps we are living ‘before the next big Flood’, the one that originally left only Noah and his family and animals two by two on the earth before, hoping they would start all over again. Perhaps Noah and the Flood is a parable that was also meant as a warning sign, one we have in the main ignored.

Valerie and Ron Taylor were both highly profiled people in my youth when I was growing up next to the ocean blue and very aware of the ocean and its power and mystery.

Valerie TaylorRon is gone, but the pioneering Diver, shark advocate and conservationist Valerie Taylor is still with us, still diving onto the Great Barrier reef and very impressive at 82.

She is hopeful, and believes ‘the ocean will recover, ‘if’ we leave it alone.

Karina HoldenKarina Holland said: “During the making of the film, urgent action started to take place. Countries began banning single use plastics. In the final weeks of our edit, marine parks were announced in the Southern Ocean and in Hawaii – creating some of the largest protected areas on Earth. There’s now a global movement underway to save our oceans.

We can only hope BLUE The Film will serve to progress a very large wave of concern rolling… ever forward, and that in our own way we can all contribute to healing our natural environment because in nature, we are all connected.

Become an Ocean Guardian Now

5/5

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2017

BLUE
The Day The Sea Changed
In Cinemas Nationally October 12, 2017

Written and Directed by KARINA HOLDEN
Featuring: LUCAS HANDLEY, MADISON STEWART, MARK DIA, PHILLIP MANGO, JENNIFER LAVERS, TIM SILVERWOOD and VALERIE TAYLOR

Did You Know?

NEARLY 3 BILLION PEOPLE RELY ON FISH AS A MAJOR SOURCE OF PROTEIN. FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE ASSURE THE LIVELIHOODS OF 10–12 PER CENT OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION. 60 PER CENT OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION LIVES WITHIN 100KM OF THE COAST. MARINE VERTEBRATE POPULATIONS DECLINED 49 PER CENT BETWEEN 1970 AND 2012.

POPULATIONS OF FISH SPECIES UTILIZED BY HUMANS HAVE FALLEN BY HALF, WITH SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SPECIES EXPERIENCING EVEN GREATER DECLINES. AROUND ONE IN FOUR SPECIES OF SHARKS, RAYS AND SKATES IS NOW THREATENED WITH EXTINCTION,

DUE PRIMARILY TO OVERFISHING. TROPICAL REEFS HAVE LOST MORE THAN HALF THEIR REEF-BUILDING CORALS OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS. WORLDWIDE, NEARLY 20 PER CENT OF MANGROVE COVER WAS LOST BETWEEN 1980 AND 2005. 29 PER CENT OF MARINE FISHERIES ARE OVERFISHED. IF CURRENT RATES OF TEMPERATURE RISE CONTINUE, THE OCEAN WILL BECOME TOO WARM FOR CORAL REEFS BY 2050.

SEABED MINING LICENCES COVER 1.2 MILLION SQUARE KILOMETRES OF OCEAN FLOOR. MORE THAN 5 TRILLION PLASTIC PIECES WEIGHING OVER 250,000 TONNES ARE IN THE SEA. OXYGEN-DEPLETED DEAD ZONES ARE GROWING AS A RESULT OF NUTRIENT RUN-OFF. THE OCEAN GENERATES ECONOMIC BENEFITS

WORTH AT LEAST US$2.5 TRILLION PER YEAR. JUST 5 PER CENT OF THE OCEAN IS PROTECTED, AND ONLY PART OF THIS IS EFFECTIVELY MANAGED. INCREASING MARINE PROTECTED AREA COVERAGE TO 30 PER CENT COULD GENERATE UP TO US$920 BILLION BETWEEN 2015 AND 2050.

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