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Looting the Pacific

Looting the Pacific

Jack mackerel, or 'jurel' -- a silvery fish which once thronged the South Pacific -- was one of the world's last great fisheries, and a staple of the global food chain. But unnoticed by the rest of the world, jack mackerel stocks have crashed, declining by 90 percent in two decades as a result of rampant industrial overfishing.

An investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) showed that a global convention which was intended to save jack mackerel stocks led instead to a disastrous 'race to fish', as faraway nations like Russia, China, Norway, the Netherlands and other EU countries competed with Pacific states to establish fishing quotas. Looting the Pacific reports exclusively on the secrets of the global fishing industry's last frontier and the fate of the jack mackerel.

'Looting the Pacific is a compelling expose of overfishing South Pacific jack mackerel by industrialized fleets of developed nations. Investigative reporter Mort Rosenblum interviews the major players involved in this tragic 'race for fish,' which is but one example of many overexploited fisheries worldwide. This film leaves no doubt that short-term economic forces are still far more powerful than the perspectives of modern fisheries science and long-term sustainability.' Mark Hixon, Hsiao Endowed Chair in Marine Biology, Department of Biology, University of Hawai'i

'Looting The Pacific tells the never-ending story of the intersection of powerful fishing interests and the inevitable outcome of catastrophic decline of fisheries, unimpeded by successful attempts at international agreements or the entreaties of scientists. It will make a useful launch pad for class discussions of the impacts of fish farming, the difficulties of international open-sea agreements, and the sorry state of fish populations in the ocean.' Jeffrey Levinton, Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University, Author, Marine Biology: Function, Biodiversity, Ecology

'This video is recommended as an introduction to the complexities of global fisheries, global competition and global economies. International regulation of natural resources is complex and regulation of fisheries resources is complicated by the concept of international waters. As seen in this film, the potential of initiating fishing quotas may have unintended consequences. Looting the Pacific is but one release in a very promising series, Reframing Rio, a collection of videos that seeks to stimulate debate on global issues first discussed at the Rio Earth Summit in 2012.' Cliff Glaviano, Educational Media Reviews Online


Main credits

Treharne Jones, Bill (Director)
Bradshaw, Steve (Director)
Bradshaw, Steve (Narrator)

Other credits

Music, Antonio Testa; translator, Rina Paredes-Olivares; camera, Ricardo Cabellos, Daniel Rubio; editor, Sotira Kyriacou.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Business Practices
Endangered Species
Food And Nutrition
Global Issues
International Trade
Latin American Studies
Marine Biology
Natural Resources
Oceans and Coasts
Pacific Studies


ICIJ investigation, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, ICIJ, global fishing industry, secrets, jack mackerel,fisheries, jurel, last great fisheries, global food chain, fish stocks crashed, industrial fishing, overfishing, Chile, Russia, China, Norway, Netherlands, overfishing, race to fish, fishing quotas, Mort Rosenblum, sustainability vs profits; "Looting the Pacific"; Bullfrog Films

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