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The Ross Sea, Antarctica is the most pristine stretch of ocean on Earth. A vast, frozen landscape that teems with life – whales, seals and penguins carving out a place on the very edge of existence. Californian ecologist David Ainley has been traveling to the Ross Sea to study this unique ecosystem for more than thirty years. He has written scientific papers describing it as a 'living laboratory'. Largely untouched by humans, it is one of the last places where the delicate balance of nature prevails. But an international fishing fleet has recently found its way to the Ross Sea. It is targeting Antarctic toothfish, sold as Chilean sea bass in up-market restaurants around the world. The catch is so lucrative it is known as white gold. Ainley knows that unless fishing is stopped the natural balance of the Ross Sea will be lost forever. He rallies his fellow scientists and meets up with a Colorado nature photographer and New Zealand filmmaker who also share a deep passion for this remote corner of the world. Together they form 'the Last Ocean' and begin a campaign taking on the commercial fishers and governments in a race to protect Earth's last untouched ocean from our insatiable appetite for fish.

Primary Title
  • The Last Ocean
Date Broadcast
  • Tuesday 27 February 2018
Release Year
  • 2012
  • 88:00
  • Media Services
  • The University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services
Programme Description
  • The Ross Sea, Antarctica is the most pristine stretch of ocean on Earth. A vast, frozen landscape that teems with life – whales, seals and penguins carving out a place on the very edge of existence. Californian ecologist David Ainley has been traveling to the Ross Sea to study this unique ecosystem for more than thirty years. He has written scientific papers describing it as a 'living laboratory'. Largely untouched by humans, it is one of the last places where the delicate balance of nature prevails. But an international fishing fleet has recently found its way to the Ross Sea. It is targeting Antarctic toothfish, sold as Chilean sea bass in up-market restaurants around the world. The catch is so lucrative it is known as white gold. Ainley knows that unless fishing is stopped the natural balance of the Ross Sea will be lost forever. He rallies his fellow scientists and meets up with a Colorado nature photographer and New Zealand filmmaker who also share a deep passion for this remote corner of the world. Together they form 'the Last Ocean' and begin a campaign taking on the commercial fishers and governments in a race to protect Earth's last untouched ocean from our insatiable appetite for fish.
  • Unknown
Owning Collection
  • Chapman Archive
Broadcast Platform
  • Television
  • English
Live Broadcast
  • No
Rights Statement
  • Made for the University of Auckland's educational use as permitted by agreement with rights owner.
  • Dissostichus mawsoni--Habitat--Ross Sea (Antarctica)
  • Dissostichus mawsoni fisheries--Ross Sea (Antarctica)
  • Marine ecosystem management--Ross Sea (Antarctica)
  • Environmental management--International cooperation
  • Documentary films--New Zealand
  • Documentary
  • Environment
  • Nature
  • Science
  • Peter Young (Producer)
  • Peter Young (Director)
  • Peter Young (Writer)
  • Richard Langston (Writer)
  • Peter Elliott (Narrator)
  • Jonno Woodford-Robinson (Editor)
  • Richard Lord (Editor)
  • Plan 9 (Composer)
  • David Donaldson (Composer)
  • Janet Roddick (Composer)
  • Steve Roche (Composer)
  • Chris Sinclair (Sound)
  • Peter Young (Cinematographer)
  • Fisheye Films (Production Unit)
  • New Zealand Film Commission (Funder)
  • NZ On Air (Funder)
  • Level K (Production Unit)
  • Dave Dobbyn (Composer)
♪ >> Do you know where the Ross Sea is? >> Raw Sea, R-A-W? >> Ross. >> R-O-S-S? Ross Sea, Ross Sea? >> R-O-S-S, Ross? No. >> Is it a sea? >> Like a swimming sea? >> No, I don’t think-- I don’t know what it is. Where’s that? >> Any idea where it is? >> Australia? I don’t know! >> Maybe it’s in Europe. I have no idea. >> Maybe it’s in Asia. >> Is it man made? >> Is it the East Side, West Side of New York City? >> Why, what’s going on in the Ross Sea? >> The Ross Sea is the southern most stretch of ocean on the planet. It’s about 3,000 kilometers below New Zealand lapping at the icy shores of Antarctica. ♪ This vast expanse of land, sea, and ice is known intimately by this man, U.S. ecologist Dr. David Ainley. ♪ Dave Ainley lives in San Francisco and like some migratory animal himself every Antarctic summer he packs his bags and heads South. ♪ Dave Ainley’s been flying down to Antarctica for more than 40 years to study the wildlife. He’s contributed so much to our understanding of the continent he’s had a mountain named after him. ♪ The thing that brings him back is the opportunity to study in what is widely regarded as the most pristine marine ecosystem on Earth. >> Hi-ho, here we are, the great white South. ♪ It’s just a really moving experience to be there and survive being there, and just feeling the energy there. It’s a pretty amazing place. ♪ >> It does have a profound impact on you when you get to see an area like that. It’s incredibly beautiful, and incredibly special. ♪ >> It’s sort of like these stories you hear about old times in the American West when the sky was darkened by the number of birds flying over during migration, and no one who’s alive has seen this, but in the Ross Sea you can still see these kinds of amazing natural events. ♪ >> I have never seen anywhere underwater as special as diving underneath the ice in the Ross Sea. When you’re down there under the ice you have the seals swimming around you, you’ve got all these wonderful invertebrates, it’s a truly a special place. ♪ >> It might be one of the coldest places on the planet, but the Ross Sea teems with life. ♪ It’s home to the southern most mammal, the Weddell seal, 40 percent of the world’s Adélie penguins, a quarter of the Emperor penguins, a species of killer whale found no where else on the planet, and a seldom seen deep dwelling fish, the Antarctic toothfish. ♪ Very few understand this ancient ecosystem better than David Ainley. >> I have a very intensive project that’s been going on for over 10 years and trying to understand Adélie penguins, and what these penguins are doing, and trying to ask questions, and find the answers. >> He doesn’t just look at penguins. He has a view as an ecologist of the whole system that is unparalleled. His science is correct, his assessments are correct, and the way he synthesizes it all together is absolutely correct. >> The Ross Sea is a place where you don’t need to guess about how things should be. You can just go there and measure them. >> In 1961, the entire continent was turned into the world’s largest nature reserve through the signing of the Antarctic Treaty. Today the flags that fly there come from nations all around the world brought together in cooperative spirit of peace and science. This unprecedented agreement signed at the height of the Cold War banned military activity and banned nuclear weapons. >> The Antarctic Treaty is generally considered one of the most successful diplomatic efforts that have-- that’s taken place in modern time. >> It’s the governments of the world agreeing, and governments of the world are very good at fighting with each other, very good at arguing, agreeing this is a place that is so special we’re going to set it aside for peace. >> I love the fact that half a century ago nations were wise enough to come to agreement to forestall exploiting the land around Antarctica. They weren’t wise enough to do the same thing for the ocean. >> So, here I was on a cliff above the Ross Sea at Cape Crozier on Ross Island as far South as you could go on the ocean. Along comes this blue fishing vessel and begins to deploy a longline. ♪ >> We’re, you know, just in disbelief that, first of all, anyone would be bold enough to fish that far South. I mean, there’s a lot of ice and it’s very, very windy. To see a fishing boat in the middle of this seemed crazy to me. ♪ >> The ship that Dave Ainley saw was exploring potential fishing grounds for Antarctic toothfish. It came from a country that ironically has been seen as a leader in conservation in the Ross Sea, New Zealand. >> We saw that there was pressure for fishing for toothfish, and that this was going to happen regardless of anything New Zealand did. We needed to accumulate information, we needed to work with the New Zealand fishing industry to have maximum control, and to have a maximum potential for sanction. >> Really it was a new frontier which wasn’t, you know, a long way from home, and that’s the way we felt. And that was Greenfield’s opportunity, and we should take the opportunity while it was available. ♪ >> When the treaty was drawn up it protected the land, but not the waters surrounding Antarctica, they remain part of the high seas, or the global commons. ♪ When those waters began to be exploited the treaty nations formed an international organization to manage them, The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, or CCAMLR based in Australia. ♪ >> It is my pleasure to welcome you to Tasmania and to Hobart for the 26th meeting of the commission. >> CCAMLR allows fishing in the Ross Sea because it defines conservation as including "rational use" of a marine living resource. It was CCAMLR that gave New Zealand approval for its exploratory fishery in 1996. >> The toothfish produced a gold rush mentality. We then found that things got a bit out of control, and I think it was because we didn’t manage it, and frankly, we got it wrong. We didn’t manage with the sophistication we should’ve done. >> There’s elements of economic self-interest. There’s elements of political strategic self-interest. There’s an element of, "If I’m not at the table during the party I’m not going to get a slice of the cake." >> In less than 10 years it grew from one boat to near on 20 from a dozen different nations. And they were permitted to take around 3,000 tons of toothfish out of the Ross Sea ecosystem every year. >> I mean, it never crossed my mind when I first went to Antarctica and-- I mean, the idea that there would be commercial fishing in the Ross Sea, I would not have believed it, and, I mean, I just would not have believed it. >> I thought the Antarctic was set aside for international collaboration and peaceful uses, but it really--that’s kind of smoke and mirrors. ♪ >> [heartbeat] >> The heart of the Antarctic toothfish can beat as little as once every 10 seconds, and that’s one of the few things we do know about this remarkable fish. >> Between 1971 and about 2003 we caught about 4,000 of these fishes, and tagged, and released them. It turns out they’re very slow growers. Some of the large ones, say, in the 300 pound range must be between 35 and 40-years-old. >> For a fishery to be sustainable, one would like to know the life cycle, the complete life cycle, and there’s really still more unknown about the<i>mawsoni</i> or toothfish life cycle than is known. >> We don’t know where the juvenile toothfish are. We don’t know what they’re feeding on. >> We’re not really sure of often these fish breed. >> Nobody’s found a larval toothfish that I know of. >> We don’t know for sure where it spawns. >> The life cycle is hypothetical. You take all the sides together and it still comes out the same. There’s only one answer, we haven’t got enough data. >> The lead scientist advising the New Zealand government on Antarctic toothfish is Stuart Hanchet. >> I would say that it probably is premature to go into there, but I think at the same time you’d probably make the same argument for every fishery in the world. And we have very, very little understanding really, and I think the, you know, the move over the last 10-- five to ten years have been trying to develop the modeling, and also the baseline data on which to be able to base the management decisions. >> I would describe it more of an art form rather than a science. You’re actually looking at it making big assumptions and hoping you’re right. ♪ >> Despite all these uncertainties CCAMLR decides to reduce the adult toothfish stock by 50 percent over the next 35 years. >> Fifty percent is huge. If you eliminated 50 percent of the humans on the planet that would have a huge impact, so if you’re going to eliminate 50 percent of the fish you’re going to have a huge impact. >> It just seems way too much way too early. >> These are big fish, profitable. They’re long-lived, so they are exploited the way you would exploit a seam of coal. ♪ >> Why else would anybody want to go to Antarctic waters to the Ross Sea if they already had plenty of fish around their home turf there’d be no incentive, but the fact that we’ve lost so much everywhere else, the fishing fleets are going further and further, finally to the last wild place, the last ocean. >> Just how much we’ve lost from our oceans is now well-recorded. A map has been created from a world-wide study where leading scientists measured human impact on the world’s oceans. >> We began what turned into a four year process of pulling together data on all of the different marine ecosystems on the planet and as many of the human uses of the oceans, and human impacts on the oceans that we could find. Once we produced our maps we were able to look for those areas that are least impacted or most pristine, and we found the Ross Sea was the most pristine area of anywhere on the planet. ♪ >> The fishing industry has really... have to say they’re very hard up for places to fish these days, so they’re not going to give up the Ross Sea very easily. ♪ >> Before they were protected by distance, ice, cold, and everything, but now we have the technical mean of going there, and we have this insatiable market that can eat anything. ♪ >> The big change that’s happened over the last hundred years, let’s say, and increasingly, is that mechanized fishing boats are able to go to any part of the world’s oceans and begin to take as many fish as they want. ♪ >> We’ve been using the ocean now for our entire human history and particularly in the last sixty years with industrialized fishing. We’ve actually used it almost in some areas, and I would say categorically in others, to exhaustion. ♪ >> The changes that have taken place globally, when you think about having managed to do in, to eliminate, basically 90 percent of the big fish. ♪ >> "Mine it out and move on" has been what we did to fisheries and what we’re doing now, and we just got to break that cycle. We’ve got to set aside a large area where nothing happens because we don’t know enough to protect biodiversity any other way. ♪ >> The center of the world fisheries moved South because essentially the stocks in the North are depleted, the boats are going South. ♪ >> The Ross Sea is the most remote fishery on the planet. There’s nowhere else we can go, there’s no further South that we can go to get fish. ♪ The treaty that governs the amount of fish that we are legally able to take out of that area is already recognizing that this place is a little different. And I think it’s also recognizing the uniqueness of the fish, the toothfish, and perhaps that we don’t know as much about the toothfish as we know about other species, therefore it’s being incredibly conservative. >> We know from multiple studies what happens when you remove top predators from marine ecosystems, the whole thing just falls apart. >> It goes both directions, too. You think about all the things that eat toothfish, so that’s the seals, and the whales, Orcas in particular. And then you think about all the things that the toothfish eats, so all of the icefishes, for example, that the toothfish are eating. Those are the two populations that are going to be directly impacted if you take that link, that toothfish link, out. ♪ It’s like dropping a pebble in a pond and having the waves, just kind of continue out and they don’t just stay the same amplitude. They actually grow as they move further out, and out through the ecosystem. ♪ >> Fearing its demise, and knowing the full weight of that loss, Dave does what he knows best, he writes a series of scientific papers on the Ross Sea. ♪ For the first time people hear that this is our last wild ocean, a place that could teach us about all marine ecosystems, and they hear what we stand to lose if we let the natural balance of the Ross Sea slip away. ♪ >> There are places that have a magnified impact on the way the world works, on the way the entire system functions, that we should do everything in our power to protect them as if our lives depend on it because our lives do depend on keeping them intact and healthy. Marine protected areas work. >> For the first time ever Ross Sea scientists gather united by their determination to save this last untouched ocean. >> Often scientists disagree about a lot of things. You get a lot of conflicting opinions, but in this case a lot do agree. We need to have a very large area that’s protected so that not only the little things that I study that live on the seafloor, but the big things that depend on those, and the large animals have enough space, and enough room to forage, and to complete their life cycles. ♪ >> You have to think in terms of literally hundreds of miles just for one whale, and there’s thousands of whales. Even for an animal as relatively small as an Adélie penguin they can cover 150 miles on their regular daily sort of commute, that’s what they do just to feed their chicks, and there’s millions of penguins. >> In terms of marine protected areas we don’t believe as an industry that they do anything more than what good fisheries management is already doing. ♪ >> The hours of the market is one in the morning to nine in the morning, those are the market hours. We have seafood coming from all over the world. ♪ >> These are what they call six to eight kilo fish, so they run anywhere from 13 to 17 pounds. I get them from Chile. I get some that says Uruguay. >> New Yorkers first developed a taste for the toothfish in the early 1990s after a local got a bright idea. >> In terms of marketing it’s very important to have the right name to sell what you want. Wolfish doesn’t sell. As soon as you have toothfish, tooth--you know, nobody wants to see a rabbit kind of a fish or something they imagine. And the term in the U.S. was, "Chilean Sea Bass." ♪ >> That simple name change put toothfish on the plates of up-market restaurants in New York and around the world. >> For the chefs it’s a very forgiving fish because it’s so rich, it’s never dry. ♪ You can cook it any way you want. You basically cannot sabotage the fish, that fish tastes good no matter what. ♪ >> The next name it was given was "white gold." ♪ >> For New Zealand it’s a $20 million fishery, so, you know, the whole of our fishing industry including agriculture is about $1.5 billion, so, you know, it’s not an insignificant part of the whole. >> However, by the industry’s own figures the fishery is only worth 1.3 percent of its annual earnings. >> That’s trivial compared to the huge ecosystem benefits and the delight that people get from knowing there’s an ecosystem with all these amazing creatures in it operating and knowing that this is the last ocean. ♪ >> You stand up in a hut looking down at a hole in the ice that’s been drilled specifically for us to drop through. And you step off through this hole and you drop down through ten feet of ice. And you just enter an entirely different world. It’s like being a skydiver. The water is so clear, you actually have no reference to whether you’re going up or down. There’s no particulate matter in the water at all. >> We’re talking about horizontal visibility of 500 to 600 feet, 200 meters horizontally. It’s gin-clear. And these Weddell seals will come gliding out of the blue, and they’re completely unafraid of you. ♪ Underwater, under the ice with a Weddell seal is an experience that I would gladly give to everyone if I could give them that chance, and if they could have that chance, protection of the Ross Sea would just be a done deal. ♪ >> In Washington, D.C., a breakthrough for the last ocean. Veteran political campaigner Jim Barnes joins the team. Thirty years ago, Jim set up the environmental umbrella organization, Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition, or ASOC. >> Hi, Claire. Had a good flight. >> Great. >> It has a seat at CCAMLR’s table, and with it, a direct line of communication. Jim’s first job is gathering a team of political and scientific experts to work on an international campaign to protect the Ross Sea. His attention soon turns to the country that opened up the fishery. >> In a country like New Zealand, I think you need a big public campaign there to change the tenor of feeling by some of your decision-makers and improve the possibility they can see why it’s important to protect the Ross Sea as a whole. >> The way we think about it is that Antarctica is important to New Zealand, New Zealand wants a presence in Antarctica, and we have a presence across a range of friends, so that’s everything from our national program and science activities based out of Scott Base, and we have our fishing presence as well, and we have tourist operators operating in the region. >> Tourists take only photos. Scientists need permission to take a feather. Yet the fishing industry is taking tens of thousands of living animals out of the Ross Sea ecosystem every year. They don’t see the Ross Sea as the last ocean. They just see it as a well-managed fishery. With consumers more aware about how and where their fish are caught, companies are keen to have their catch deemed "sustainable." That certification comes from the London-based Marine Stewardship Council. New Zealand and U.K. companies fishing for toothfish apply. >> We’ve seen the market starting to demand more and more assurances that the management processes are robust, that the science is good, that compliances are being adhered to, and things like that. >> The cost of certification itself, we often say is usually between $50,000 and $150,000. We continue to have a lot of fisheries wishing to go into the program. There is evidence that they get economic benefits from doing so. There’s stronger evidence, however, that they get market access benefits and it secures their place in the market. >> If this toothfish fishery is certified, then it’s going to become politically correct to be eating toothfish again, the price is-- the demand is going to go up, the price is gonna go up. >> An independent assessor from London-based Moody Marine, appointed and paid for by the fishing industry, flies to New Zealand to hear the case for and against fishing in the Ross Sea. Dave Ainley has to pay his own way to take them on. >> I’ve come to New Zealand to say my piece. Somebody has to speak up for the Ross Sea. >> So, at the end of the day, the Moody Marine people, they go through and they score Box X, Box Y, Box Z, and so forth, and they come up with an overall score, and they say, "Okay, you pass, you get to be certified." But if you ask them this question, "Are you certain, and on what basis would you say you’re certain that this is truly sustainable?" they don’t really have a good answer. >> MSC assessments, again, as you probably know, we define a fishery, or a unit of certification, based on a number of criteria. >> You’re trapped in their system instead of being able to bring independent scientists, which is what we tried to do. We brought inputs from more than 30 very experienced Ross Sea scientists challenging all sorts of their assumptions. >> The second principle is that the impacts of the fishery on the ecosystem should be sustainable, and the third principle is that there be an effective management system in place. >> I’m also assuming you’ve got an open mind despite the fact that you’re being paid by these three companies to do the certification. The certifiers that I’ve dealt with today in regard to MSC certainly haven’t had an open mind, and I hope you guys have. >> Our role is to take an independent, objective view of the information available in the fishery. >> How many have been turned down at this stage? >> One fishery has failed the main assessment process so far. >> Out of how many? >> I think there’s 23 have been certified. >> Do you know where these fish spawn? Do you anything about where Ross Sea toothfish are going through their juvenile cycles? The answer to all these questions is "No." >> Despite the challenge from Ainley and many other scientists, the MSC certifies the Ross Sea fishery as sustainable. ♪ >> I guess I’m a little bit angry because in my naivety, I spent my life studying what I thought were penguins in a natural laboratory without a lot of unknown anthropogenic factors involved, and now the New Zealand fisheries and other countries come along and they decide to make the Ross Sea this big meat bucket. ♪ >> These people, they just have a feel for the environment, and clearly, you don’t go back thirty years again and again unless you have a passion for that environment, and David has that passion, and he and other scientists like that, they all need to be treasured and looked after, and more importantly, listened to. ♪ >> On the frozen sea of McMurdo Station, decades of groundbreaking research on Antarctic toothfish slowly comes to a halt. >> When I began my studies almost 40 years ago, we might catch 500 pulling the line once or twice a day in October through the middle of December. Some years, we only caught about 150, so there’s some variation from year to year, but never did we not catch any. I think it was in 2003, I only caught about 30, and this past year, I’ve only caught two, so they seem to have disappeared from the sound. >> Stop here again. Stop, stop, stop. >> Nothing on it. >> Just last year, we pulled seven or eight in, and as I said, it was a good year, but, you know, seven or eight versus five hundred, you know, is obviously clearly not really good fishing at all. >> So, the fact they can’t catch toothfish there anymore is-- we think is related to this fishery. The fact that fish-eating killer whales are not as prevalent as they used to be is another effect that we think is related. >> The call from scientists on the ground in Antarctica is not being heard, not by governments, anyway. ♪ In New Zealand, the fleet prepares to exploit once again that brief period of opportunity in the Ross Sea. The growing appetite for Antarctic toothfish is luring vessels from all over the world, including South Korea and the United Kingdom. ♪ When vessels arrive in the Ross Sea, they enter an Olympic-style fishery where each country competes to get as much of the quota as they can as quickly as they can. >> Our experience with the ice conditions down there is that this is a very, very dangerous place, and here we’re allowing fishing to take place in the worst sea ice conditions in the world. From that point alone, it’s a disaster waiting to happen. ♪ >> A South Korean fishing vessel, Jeong Woo 2, sank in the Antarctic waters yesterday after a fire onboard. >> Earlier, the Russian fishing ship, the Sparta, struck ice in the Antarctic and had to be rescued. >> We’ve been asked to help out a Russian fishing vessel. We know that there’s a hole at about 50 centimeters in the vessel. It is taking on water. >> Once the icebreaker gets in location, the plan is to pump across some of the 180 tons of fuel on board. >> The anxious wait is over for three New Zealanders and twenty-two others on a fishing boat which has been adrift for more than two weeks. The United States Air Force dropped engine parts to the Argos Georgia, which became stranded just before Christmas after its engine blew. >> Maritime New Zealand says rescuers have been unable to find any more survivors from the South Korean trawler that sank off Antarctica yesterday. Three South Korean trawlers searched overnight for 17 men missing from the No. 1 Insung, which sank more than 2,000 kilometers... ♪ >> The New Zealand government says that fishing in the Ross Sea is managed with great care. >> New Zealand vessels are known to be one of the most well-performing vessels in the fishery, so in some ways, I don’t think, as a government, we feel a need to apologize for our participation in the fishery. For us as a government at the moment, it’s a legitimate activity, and in the pursuit of that activity, we feel that we can make sure that CCAMLR continues to set a high standard for the performance of other vessels in the fishery as well. ♪ >> The force of big business and governments is something Jim Barnes is familiar with. His team begins gathering the information and evidence to build the case for a ban on fishing and for protecting the entire Ross Sea. >> We’ve got a team of 20, 25 people around the world working on this, a mix of scientists, lawyers, and policy experts from all the different key countries. It’s a great team. We need them all. >> There’s a rapid environmental change coming. It’s happening now. Those changes are really making it more and more urgent that we don’t work in isolation. We have to work together. >> Five hundred scientists add their names in support. ♪ >> We’re trying to bring everything together and have the perfect case, the best possible case for the Ross Sea, and it is a beautiful case. >> If CCAMLR is based on science, then we should get some justice from them and acknowledgement that the Ross Sea is not just an ordinary place and just to be treated as just another stretch of the ocean, but that it is a special place. ♪ >> Each November in Hobart, delegates from the 25 nations of CCAMLR gather for the annual meeting. They will ultimately decide the fate of the Ross Sea. The man instrumental in starting the fishery 15 years ago now says it has turned into something that was never intended. >> With the lessons of the Ross Sea in the last two or three years, I think we should have steel in our spine and we should say, "Right, this is just utterly unacceptable." Without question, the value of protecting and preserving the Ross Sea as a pristine environment for the benefit of future generations far outweighs any short-term profit we can get from exploiting the fish of the region. >> We need to think carefully how to bring everybody in all the key countries up to a similar level of understanding about why, why it’s important to protect a particular place. >> If the wider public sees we want this area to be protected for the following reasons, then governments will simply follow the wishes of the people. I’m a great believer in democracy. ♪ >> And it’s ordinary people who make the difference, from how they decide to vote to what they decide to eat. >> United States is the biggest market for this fish in the world. As Americans, it’s our responsibility to deal with that and to have American companies standing up and saying, "We’re not gonna be a part of it. Not only are we not gonna be a part of it, we want to be a part of the solution." >> In the long run, the benefits for all of us, we can make it happen. >> If a customer calls in and asks for Chilean sea bass, we always lead them to black cod because it’s a similar texture and consistency. >> The Chilean sea bass, we were aware that there was a lot of issues, a lot of problems, and we decided not to serve it. Chefs are educated and know about it. ♪ >> When the Marine Stewardship Council actually did certify that fishery, we were unhappy with that, as a number of other people were, and when we were asked to take a public stand on it, we, of course, chose to do that because we’re a very socially aware company. >> When I first heard that Safeway had banned toothfish sales, I was so excited and so ecstatic because it’s very rare for a large corporation to support something like that, and it really made me feel like there were people at Safeway who were listening. ♪ >> At Cape Washington Penguin Colony, an ancient ritual is playing out. ♪ The season’s Emperor chicks are suddenly left to fend for themselves. Their challenge is to survive in one of the harshest environments on Earth. Humans were never part of it. ♪ The Ross Sea is no longer a hidden corner of the world. The world has found it. Our last truly wild ocean. ♪ Can humanity rise to the challenge and preserve this ancient natural order? ♪ >> I would hope that they would have just the sense of wanting to be-- to be evaluated, I suppose, to be judged with their decisions, not by their peers of today, and not by what they have grown up with as what’s the right thing to do, but to think about how we, all of us, will be judged by those in the future, because we only have one chance, and I do hope that every one of the representatives from those countries will spend a few minutes just looking in the mirror before they go making the next round of decisions. ♪ >> The historical view that the oceans were inexhaustible and limitless in a global age is not tenable anymore. It’s all our responsibilities. CCAMLR is only one player in this huge orchestra, and the values-- if the values are strong enough of the Ross Sea to protect it, then that’s the way we should do--that’s the way humanity should do it. ♪ >> The toothfish fishery is not a fishery that’s based on survival. This is a luxury item. So, people who are fishing for toothfish should be wise enough to look at the bigger picture of what they’re destroying just for an economic gain. ♪ >> People feel that they have a right to exploit the natural world for their own gain, and if they’re the first ones to do it, so much the better, and I think we’re coming to a time when we have to question that, whether that’s really the way we want the last places on Earth to be treated. ♪ >> You know, this is it. We have to be at the peak of our civilization. We should have an amazing amount of wisdom, and we should be exercising that wisdom. ♪ >> There is still time to save the last ocean. ♪ >> How big of an area is it? >> I’d say the size of Europe. >> It’s massive then. >> It’s massive. It’s one and a half times bigger than Australia. >> Bloody hell. >> The Antarctic is the only place on the entire planet where there’s no people. >> None at all. >> No one lives there. There’s scientific bases. >> Do you get polar bears and all that? >> No, no polar bears. Penguins down in the Southern Hemisphere and polar bears up north. There’s no penguins up in the Northern Hemisphere. >> Oh, really? >> Yeah. >> [unintelligible] >> Yeah, yeah. ♪ We’re trying to protect the Ross Sea. >> You should protect it. >> I’m glad you think that, mate. >> Why should they-- why touch something that hasn’t been touched forever? Why touch it? Why ruin it? Why not leave it alone? >> Yeah. >> Let the animals and the fish in the seas and the whales and the penguins just get on with it. >> That’s what I reckon. ♪ Captioned by Video Caption Corporation www.vicaps.com
  • Dissostichus mawsoni--Habitat--Ross Sea (Antarctica)
  • Dissostichus mawsoni fisheries--Ross Sea (Antarctica)
  • Marine ecosystem management--Ross Sea (Antarctica)
  • Environmental management--International cooperation
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