Updated: Mar 25, 2021
1. A Plastic Ocean follows Craig Lesson and Tanya Steerer along with researchers and scientists as they travel to different parts of the world and expose the plastic pollution problems within those fragile ecosystems, they not only examine the impacts the plastic pollution problem has on marine life, but also the societal problems that stem from our addiction to plastic. Because of their passion for the ocean, they’re determined to make a difference to save not only our future, but the future of the oceans. This documentary is heartbreaking as it serves as a stark wake up call and yet is inspiring, showing us that we have to do more and use less, as our actions hold big consequences.
Released in 2017, directed by Craig Lesson, available on Netflix
2. Who doesn’t remember the iconic narration by Sir David Attenborough that made up their childhood? Blue Planet I and Blue Planet II have very special places in my heart as they were the first ocean documentaries that I watched when I was a kid, they showed the wonders of the world and all of it’s mysteries. As blue planet I introduced the marine life the oceans have to offer, Blue Planet II is a sequel to the first documentary which aired all the way back in 2001. Over the course of 7 episodes, learn about a wide range of habitats, everything from Coral Reefs to the depths of the ocean; in contrast to the original, Blue Planet II examines the human caused environmental effects in the form of pollution from microplastics, ultimately threatening the diverse marine ecosystems the call this planet home.
Released in 2001, 2017, presented by David Attenborough, Available on Netflix, amazon
3. Did you ever wonder what happens when oceanographers can’t find what they’re supposed to be filming? In Superfish: Bluefin Tuna award winning oceanographer Rick Rosenthal goes on a quest to find the giant amongst fish, the bluefin tuna. He manages to get many great shots of this apex predator, all while educating the viewers on how bluefin tuna are essential to a healthy ocean, in an interview he compares the lack of bluefin tuna in the oceans and how it’s similar to not having lions in Africa. Tracking down this film is just as elusive as it’s subject, as it aired eight years ago on national geographic but it can be bought on both prime video and in the google play store.
Released in 2012, Directed by Rick Rosenthal, Available on prime video
4. SHE IS THE OCEAN follows the story of nine women highlighting their innate connection with the ocean through the forms of surfing, snorkeling and overall simply being in the ocean. On one level the film explores the cultural aspects of the ocean and how important it is to us and these women, and on the other hand it explores the human induced environmental impacts that humans have caused such as shark poaching, pollution, oil spills and many others. SHE IS THE OCEAN has won numerous awards for the stories it follows and the message it has, which is one of inspiration, power and importance.
Released in 2020, Directed by Inna Blokhina, available on youtube and google play store
5. Did you ever wonder what would happen if the oceans suddenly ran out of fish or if all of the fish disappeared? End of the line follows a group of scientists who are examining how much we’re taking out of the ocean and the alarming rate at which we’re doing it. They examine where we’re acquiring our fish from, and exactly the methods of which it’s being caught. Although it was released in 2009, the message rings true that the ocean is a finite resource and that if we continue to exploit it, we won’t have any fish left for the future. The shocking truth behind the grave realities of our consumption habits is not only one of grave concern, but one of immediate attention; even twelve years later, it’s still a concept that not many people are familiar with or even think twice to consider, which gives this award winning film the reason for still being relevant and a continued concern in today's society.
Released in 2009, Directed by Rupert Murray, Available on youtube and amazon
What's your favourite ocean film?
By: Natasha Sing