Product name: End of the Line
Reviewer: Kate Arneman
Author: Rupert Murray
Publisher: Save Our Marine Life
The immensity of the worlds' oceans seems to suggest an inexhaustible resource. It may come as a surprise then, that scientists predict a collapse of the world's fisheries by 2048. That's right - no more fish in the sea within four decades. It's enough to make you choke on your sashimi and wonder, how did it come to this?
The End of the Line, a documentary based on a book of the same name by UK investigative journalist Charles Clover, takes a look at the crisis caused by overfishing and what we can do to ensure marine diversity for future generations. Increasingly sophisticated technology and lack of strong regulation has allowed the fishing industry to expand to a point where it is exhausting fish stocks everywhere.
The collapse of the Newfoundland cod fishery in the early 1990s was a serious wake-up call, spurring scientists to investigate the size of populations of large, commercially desirable fish around the world. Recently, the species that has been making the news is the southern bluefin tuna, listed as critically endangered by the International Conservation union, yet still routinely on the menu.
The End of the Line draws on interviews with scientists, activists and fishermen to create a compelling case.
The film, which was funded for the most part by not-for-profit conservation and philanthropic groups, has a clear call to action.
"We must stop thinking of our oceans as a food factory and realise that they thrive as a huge and complex marine environment," says Clover.
For the fishing industry, this means looking at the long-term prospects rather than immediate profits. For consumers, this means asking questions about where the fish they are eating comes from, and choosing sustainable options. For governments, this means establishing a network of marine sanctuaries in which fishing is prohibited, to allow populations to build up once more.
The Australian government is currently assessing the south-west waters of Australia for possible inclusion in a network of new marine protected areas.
To find out why this area is so significant, what you can do to show your support for marine sanctuaries and for details of screenings of The End of the Line organised by the Save Our Marine Life alliance, visit www.saveourmarinelife.org.au.