Monday, June 22, 2009

REVIEW: The End of the Line

This is the first in a series of reviews that I will role out this week of planet/people focused films that I've recently seen.

Over the weekend I saw The End of the Line, a film about overfishing and the state of the oceans' marine life. Recently I talked about the film, after being introduced to Charles Clover at a Monterey Bay Aquarium event in May. Clover is the author of a book by the same name as the film -- he is the environment editor of London's Daily Telegraph and is featured in the piece.

This documentary is quite hard hitting. It is my belief that every politician and citizen in the developed world should see this film. Massive, immediate change is needed in fishing and ocean policies -- and those policies cannot be politically driven. They must be scientifically based. If we did it to save the whales, one can only hope we can do it on a larger scale -- but it will take a lot of voices in high and important places to save our ocean marine life.

One point that was suggested in the film was frightening to me. The fact that some corporations are seemingly fishing species after species down to the last fish, deep freezing them, and waiting until there are no more left of each species so that they can command the highest price in selling off their reserves of a now-extinct species. It sounds like a bad movie, doesn't it?! But this is real-life, human greed gone mad. Are we so insane about money and power that we are willing to implode the planet just to live like a king? Apparently we may be on that path.

Another greater problem (if there could be one) is apathy. People can know a lot about how to take care of themselves but still be obese. The same is true with the marine life problem. You can educate yourself until you're blue in the face but still choose unsustainable seafood and not voice your concerns. This was demonstrated when we went to go see The End of the Line; as we were leaving the theatre I took it upon myself to let the audience members know, as they were coming out of the theatre, that Seafood Watch cards were on a table in the lobby. They looked at me like dazed zombies. I explained what Seafood Watch cards were, and still no takers. This was from a group of people who had just seen a film that knocked them up silly about the need to be more sustainable!


Here is a link to a post I did on World Oceans Day about the complexities of the overfishing problem and what the average person can do about it.

Below is a trailer of The End of the Line. Find a way to see the film so that you understand the issues more completely, and invite several of your friends to come with you.

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