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28 October 2010 @ 12:59 am
goddamn, I need to find something cheerful on Netflix now  
Voyage of the Lonely Turtle has to be one of the most depressing wildlife documentaries ever. It's based around the migration of the loggerhead across the pacific, and along the way we get to see industrial fishing (horrifying -- I gave up bluefin tuna some time ago, but I'm coming to the grim conclusion that I am going to have to give up all other tuna in sushi as well.) There's dead turtles, and film of one slightly luckier turtle who only gets half-drowned before he or she is cut free. Over which film we get the fact that the turtle population is only a quarter of what it was since started trying to conserve them... and that would be after we had noticed how desperately populations had already declined.

Then we get to see dying coral, discussion of acidification, and they even made a stop over to mention deep-ocean methane rising. We finally get to the turtle's destination and watch a turtle drag ashore, and they mention that the beach used to have thousands of turtles, and now only a handful return.

And the real topper: while the narration had shown loggerheads at various points along the way, and spoken as if it was a single turtle rather than a figurative one, it was clear to me that they weren't, since the turtles shown never had a tracker, and because footage was clearly being inserted from the early Mexico filming, identifiable by her companion fish. At the very end, you do find out one loggerhead had been tracked, and made it to the waters just off her birth beach... where she was promptly trawled up and drowned.

I've seen some nature documentaries that were more *deliberately* depressing, of the Silent Spring type, but this had the shell of an ordinary Attenborough-style production, and a fucking bleak heart.

Even the blue whale footage depressed me, because I couldn't help but think of how very few they are, and the pregnant female that was killed a couple of weeks ago by a ship.
Lady Cyonwofl_iron on October 28th, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC)
Have you seen the documentary included in the Blue Planet series? It's called Deep Trouble. And I sat there watching all 50 minutes of it in slack-jawed horror. Needless to say, after watching it (and I think the one you're talking about it probably similar, just with more of a focus on turtles than the fishing industry in general) I no longer partake, endorse, or recommend partaking in any consumption that supports the fishing industry.

It makes me sick to think about the fact that boats are just heedlessly tearing up entire ecosystems on the ocean floor and much of it is ecosystems we haven't even gotten a chance to discover, let alone study. Who know what kind of damage we're doing to deep sea biodiversity.