The Last Ocean

Image: John Weller

“If the Ross Sea is compromised, the last chance to understand the complexity of a completely healthy ocean ecosystem will disappear forever.” — Dr David Ainley, Antarctic ecologist

Director: Peter Young
Year: 2012
Country: New Zealand
Running time: 85 mins

Producer/Photography: Peter Young
Writers: Richard Langston, Peter Young
Editors: Jonno Woodford Robinson, Richard Lord
Sound Design: Chris Sinclair
Original Music: Plan9

World Premiere

The Last Ocean is a documentary directed by Peter Young, one of the country’s leading nature cameramen and a key figure in the international movement to end fishing in the Ross Sea. Facing depleted fisheries everywhere else the fishing industry has found its way south to the last pristine marine ecosystem on earth and to the Antarctic toothfish (sold as Chilean seabass in up-market restaurants and delis around the world). The fishers plan to remove 50% of the adult toothfish from the Ross Sea and in doing so will destroy the natural balance of Earth’s last untouched ocean. Environmentalists, commercial fishers and governments are going head to head over this issue, which raises the simple ethical question: do we fish the last ocean or do we protect it? Young’s ravishing Antarctic footage lends emotive force to a detailed account of the conservationist case and the long political and diplomatic campaign to counteract the hungry fishing lobby. — BG

“The toothfish produced a gold rush mentality and we then found things got out of control.” — Stuart Prior, Head of Antarctic Policy Unit, NZ 1996

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