Based on the critically acclaimed book by Charles Clover, THE END OF THE LINE charts the devastating ecological impact of overfishing by interweaving both local and global stories of sharply declining fish populations, including the imminent extinction of the bluefin tuna, and illuminates how our modern fishing capacities far outstrip the survival abilities of any ocean species. Scientists explain how this depletion has slipped under the public radar and outline the catastrophic future that awaits us — an ocean without fish by 2048 — if we do not adjust our fishing and consumption practices.
Imagine an ocean without fish. This is the future–in less than 40 years–if we do not stop, think and act. Narrated by Ted Danson and based on the acclaimed book by Charles Clover, THE END OF THE LINE shows firsthand the effects of our global love affair with fish as food. It examines the imminent extinction of bluefin tuna, the huge overpopulation of jellyfish and the prospect of certain mass starvation. Filmed over two years across the world–from the Straits of Gibraltar to the coasts of Senegal and Alaska to the Tokyo fish market–featuring top scientists, indigenous fishermen and fisheries enforcement officials, THE END OF THE LINE is a wake-up call to the world.
While this documentary will, sadly, not have the same impact that something like Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth did, the message here is just about as dire. The film itself is a very straight forward piece, alerting the viewer to the dangers that we face if our practices do not change. Perhaps more alarmingly than anything the forecasts given indicate it will be less than forty years before all of this comes to a head. It’s certainly an alarming notion and quite frankly I was rather surprised there hasn’t been more about it in the news.
The documentary itself isn’t all just about alerting us to the problem, however. There’s lengthy discussion with scientists and fishermen alike on how to avoid this impending catastrophe and even some tips on how local groceries and even what we, as consumers, can do to help. It’s as informative as it is educational and although no one likes to be “preached” to, this documentary does it in a very laid back and natural way that quite frankly should send you into a bit of a panic if you care about any of the footage that’s laid out before you during the documentary.
And that’s another element of the documentary to be covered. The footage shot for this piece comes from all over the world, so you not only get to see the individual areas in which these fish currently thrive and live, but also the nearby markets that sell them. Without a doubt the visuals helped to drive home the point that this film was making and combined with Ted Danson’s superb narration throughout, it’s kind of hard not to look at the industry and fish eco system differently.
Overall while the film isn’t really telling you information that you can’t find online for free, the production and assembly of it into a neat little eighty-three minute package makes it a Recommended viewing. It’s really something that you should check out to not only be better informed about the dire situation itself but also so you can spread the word, since it clearly isn’t having much of an impact in mainstream media.
The disc arrives in a standard amaray DVD case with a very subdued cover and disc art. Menus are simple and easy to navigate while the video and audio transfer is what one would expect from a fairly new production. Some of the footage is a bit dirtier than others, but considering the globe-spanning nature of it, I’m not surprised it’s not all absolutely pristine. Audio is clean throughout with Danson’s narration coming through loud and clear from beginning to end.
Surprisingly enough there are a few extras to check out here:
Ocean-Friendly Seafood Guide: A wallet-sized insert you can use to make choices for healthy oceans
Six webisodes: Over 50 minutes of featurettes take you behind the scenes and deeper into the issues
Ted Danson on THE END OF THE LINE
The Coral Triangle: Nursery of the Seas
It’s a solid package overall and the included insert is a nice little bonus. The webisodes incorporate even more insight into the plight and Danson’s little commentary on the production was a cool addition. Overall a Recommended title to pick up as it’s something you can easily pass on to friends and family to help spread the message further.
The End of the Line arrives on DVD on February 23rd.