An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch
The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation recently completed a new film for the Smithsonian Channel, An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch. The film will tell the story of an ambitious ocean detective project. It will follow the journey of Dr. Daniel Pauly and his team as they gather information to calculate the world’s total fish catch. Currently, industry experts keep track of some of the fish we catch, but there are many more uncounted fish. The uncounted fish are categorized in three main ways; illegal, unreported, and unregulated fish (IUU). Fish caught in one of these ways is usually overlooked in national catch figures. To find out the quantity of fish that are caught in this way, Dr. Pauly and his team must hunt down and piece together data from around the world. Their goal is to find out once and for all the amount of fish we have actually removed from the sea since industrial fishing began.
And it’s not just an exercise in mind-bending quantities of numbers. Discovering the amount of fish we have removed will tell us how dangerously close we are to terminally overfishing the fish we rely on. Millions of peoples’ survival is dependent on fish from the sea, yet right now we catch all the fish we can using fishing data that doesn’t take into account the real amount of fish we catch.
The film will meet scientists who are trying to level the playing field for small-scale fishermen and those who depend on the sea for their livelihood. It will span the globe to find out how many fish we catch and discover that the true tonnage of fish caught globally is dangerously high.
The hope is that the new research will be incorporated into National catch estimates in every country so that fisheries managers can manage their resource sustainably for the future. Known for his work on shifting baselines and small-scale fisheries, this film will discover if Dr. Pauly’s Sea Around Us Project could lead to the greatest shake up ever of world fisheries.
“We need to know how many fish have been taken from the ocean in order to figure out what we can catch in the future.” – Dr. Daniel Pauly
An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch has been completed and has just started the film festival circuit, a broadcast date is still to be determined.
- Winner, Conservation Award, International Ocean Film Festival, 2017
- Finalist, Broadcast, Blue Ocean Film Festival, 2016
- Honorable Mention, Music, Blue Ocean Film Festival, 2016
- International Ocean Film Festival: March 12, 2017