Aug 08.4

5 Ocean Conservation Documentaries Worth Watching

Ethical Campaigns

We recently teamed up with United Conservationists to add our voice to the thousands of people petitioning the government to ban the shark fin trade once and for all – but the movement to end this barbaric practice all started because of an eye-opening, independent film called Shark Water. Shark Water shone a bright spotlight on a hidden industry, and its message inspired people all around the world to take action.

Getting involved can mean signing our petition to ban the shark fin trade, lathering up with Shark Fin soap or starting your own Fin Free chapter, but supporting ocean conservation can also begin with grabbing a few friends and hosting a documentary movie night! Here are our top five picks for getting inspired and staying informed. Be sure to leave time for discussion, or even brainstorming, after each film. You never know – your ideas might just change the world.

1. Sharkwater

Directed by wildlife photographer and biologist Rob Stewart, Sharkwater was the first major motion picture to expose the shark fin trade and its impact on shark populations worldwide. Rob explores the demand for shark fin soup, confronts shark poachers in Guatemala and Costa Rica and even recovers hidden camera footage from massive shark finning facilities. This visually captivating and eye-opening documentary is sure to inspire you to take action.

2. Blackfish

Blackfish examines the cruelty, and ultimately, the consequences of using animals for human entertainment. And what could be crueler than forcing a massive killer whale to spend its entire life in a swimming pool? Blackfish chronicles the captivity of Tilikum, a killer whale whose attack of three humans at Sea World has been hotly debated in the media. Trust me, you’ll think twice about ever setting foot in an aquarium or aquatic park again after seeing this film.

3. Revolution

His follow-up to Sharkwater, Rob Stewart’s visually stunning Revolution takes you on an incredible journey through fifteen different countries and countless unique ecosystems. In the film, Rob discovers that the earth’s ability to support the human race is depleting rapidly due to an interconnected web of ocean acidification, climate change, species loss and environmental degradation. Ultimately though, a message of hope prevails. Rob asserts that people are, at their core, good and will fight for our collective future given the right information.

4. The Cove

An Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Feature, The Cove is a call to action to end dolphin hunting practices in Japan. In an expedition led by dolphin trainer-turned-conservationist Ric O’Barry (he trained the original Flipper for the 1960s television series), the film crew visits Taiji, Japan to expose the brutal dolphin hunting industry. Be warned: this film is not for the faint of heart!

5. Planet Earth: Ocean Deep

Ocean Deep is technically part of the BBC Planet Earth television series, but don’t let that deter you from watching this spectacular and inspiring episode. Featuring breathtaking footage of rarely-seen species, Ocean Deep reminds you of the enormity of our oceans – and the many mysteries it holds deep beneath the surface. Plus, it’s narrated by David Attenborough. And who doesn’t love his voice?

There you have it! Tell us, have you seen any of the films on this list? How did they impact or inspire you?

Julia Hamfelt

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