The End of the Line

Imagine a world without fish

"The End of the Line" is a gripping, sobering documentary for anyone who loves fish, the ocean--and the health of the earth's entire ecosystem. British filmmaker Rupert Murray has created a must-see film--a true call to action--that compellingly makes the case that the earth's oceans must be preserved, like great areas of the land, for future generations, to prevent the emptying of the seas of fish. Murray examines modern fishing practices, and the lack of agreement in the global community on what's acceptable. Trawling, for example, still the major form of catching mass quantities of fish, is done many times a year in the same spot--a practice, Murray tells the viewer, akin to "plowing a field seven times a year." The yield is, and will be, ever diminishing.

Murray based his documentary on Charles Clover's book "The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat". As a film, however, the message has far more impact--the gorgeous undersea photography is riveting and inspiring--and helps leaven the downbeat overall message of "The End of the Line". Ted Danson is an engaging narrator, not mincing words or glossing over harsh realities about the world's diminishing fish supply--yet drawing in the viewer to the wonders of the ocean, and why they need the same protections that vast areas of land preserves enjoy.

"The End of the Line" will make viewers think twice about the fish they eat--and maybe spur them into ocean conservation activism.

In "The End of the Line" by Rupert Murray, scientists show that if we continue fishing as we have been up to now, we will witness the end of seafood in about 2048. According to the film, consumers who shop unconsciously, politicians who ignore scientific advice and protests, fishermen who fish illegally and violate quotas, and the global fishing industry are to be held responsible.

As examples, the film shows how the demand for cod in Newfoundland depleted the once abundant population of this species in 1990, how high-tech fleets block all escape routes for schools of fish and how “sustainable” fish-farming is apparently a myth.

"The End of the Line" offers simple solutions that require political will and activism to achieve international success. Fishing must be controlled by restricting the number of fleets, by establishing marine reserves and by informing customers that they have the option of buying fish from sustainable fisheries. (In this regard, it has to be mentioned that the MSC label propagandised in the film and by the WWF is not really sustainable since it permits bottom trawl fishing.)

"The End of the Line" is an intelligent, inspiring and quite entertaining film. It is suitable for secondary schools and universities, for teachers and educated multipliers. Individuals can also help raise awareness by passing on a DVD of the film to family and friends.

It presents the very topical issue of overfishing and its dimensions very clearly. Well-researched and documented, with numerous interviews and evident connections to our everyday lives, "The End of the Line" also offers several better alternatives and perspectives.

The knowledge it conveys is put into perspective, and human influence on the earth’s ecosystem is depicted very vividly. Numerous examples add to the journalistic value.

Not least, "The End of the Line" is emotional and inspiring. The film offers viewers a global perspective in which respect and esteem for creation play a significant role, and it succeeds in arousing a strong sense of responsibility.

The logical development is understandable, and the dramaturgy full of suspense. The images and scenes are aesthetically impressive - some of them unique - and highly content-related. Editing, cinematography and soundtrack are good throughout the film.

Director(s): Rupert Murray
Script: Charles Clover
Production: Tiberius Film, Claire Lewis, George Duffield
Music: Srdjan Kurpjel, Marios Takoushis
Actors: Melanie Laurent, Charles Clover, Ben Bradshaw, Roberto Mielgo Bragazzi, John Crosbie, Haidar El Ali, Ray Hilborn, Jeffrey Hutchings, Mélanie Laurent, Manolo Pacheco Luis, Patricia Majluf, Jahn T. Maxwell, Adama Mbergaul, Hardy McKinney, Masanori Miyahara, Matthew Moir, Brian Mulroney, Richie Nota, Jamie Oliver, Stephen R. Palumbi, Daniel Pauly, Pete Petersen, Callum Roberts, Yvonne Sadovy, Ted Stevens, Rashid Sumaila, Serge Tudela, Boris Worm, Steve Palumbi, Peter Redmond
Year: 2009
Duration: 82 min
Picture format: 17:9
Our age recommendation: 16
Language (audio): German, English
Language (subtitles): German
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Shooting Locations: Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, Peru, United States, United Kingdom, Bahamas, Luxembourg, Senegal
Screening rights: neuzeitmedia Film- & Medienagentur (Switzerland, Germany)

Further reviews


Main topic(s): Oceans
Secondary topics: biodiversity subsidies overfishing
Mentions: fish overfishing meat extinction oceans sea fishery tuna bluefin
Topic Page(s): Global Food Oceans


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