The Zubeida's Picks: Our Favourite Marine Conservation Documentaries
"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." – Malcolm X
Our planet is suffering and dying. It is our job to help preserve and protect it for as long as we can, for all those who come after us. We've gathered a list of our favourite marine (and water) conservation documentaries to help us educate ourselves, and arm ourselves with knowledge so that we can fight to protect the only home we'll ever have.
1. Chasing Coral
Released in 2017, this documentary follows our vibrant coral reefs that manage the health of our oceans and the effects of rising earth temperatures. They have documented coral bleaching over a period of three years, bringing stark contrast from bright coral homes to empty skeletal remains.
"Between 2014 – 2017, Chasing Coral captured the most severe bleaching event in recorded history. During these years, 75% of corals suffered or died from heat stress brought on by climate change.
It is predicted that if nothing changes, by 2034 there will be severe bleaching events every year and by 2050, 90% of reefs could be lost." This excerpt is taken from the "Chasing Coral" website.
2. The Blue Planet
Released in 2001, it is an 8 part series brought to you by David Attenborough. It takes you beneath the waves and shows you the incredible biodiversity that is ever-present. Rising and falling with the sun's presence and movement of the planet, Attenborough shows you a rich ecosystem dependent on, surviving in and contributing to the health of our waters and our planet.
3. David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef
Released in 2015, this documentary is brought to you in bite-sized episodes. The Great Barrier Reef is so impressive, that you can see it from space as one of the largest single structures made entirely of living beings.
Attenborough brings to our attention to the tiny living organisms that are a part of the reef, to different migration patterns that bring birds and whales to the reef, while marking the changes due to rises in water temperature and the subsequent coral bleaching. He also dives into different ways scientists are trying to preserve and protect the reefs.
Released in 2013, this documentary follows the life of Tilikum, a SeaWorld orca and the controversy over keeping killer whales captive. Not only does it cover the fact that Tilikum killed three humans, but focuses on the devastating impacts of keeping sensitive and sentient beings captive and exploiting them for entertainment. The documentary sparked further outrage against their inhumane treatment and eventually made way for SeaWorld to stop breeding orcas in captivity.
5. River Blue
Released in 2017, the documentary follows river conservationist Mark Angelo as he seeks to infiltrate one of the world's most polluting industries: fashion. The documentary demands better practices from textile industries and acknowledges the problem of fast fashion: harsh chemical manufacturing processes and irresponsible toxic chemical waste disposal, denim products have destroyed rivers and negatively impacted the lives of people who survive on these waterways.
We need to hold textile industries and fashion manufacturers to a higher standard of care and make a push in favour of minimalism and slow living.
Which documentary are you going to check out first?