7 Perfect Movies For Indoctrinating Your Friends Toward Helping Ocean Conservation

Megan Jungwi
24 March 2014

Movies can pack a powerful emotional – and sometimes educational – punch. Consider sharing your passion for the marine world by gathering your friends together for an ocean movie night. There are plenty to choose – from the awe inspiring to the heart breaking – here are a few to consider.

Planet Ocean

Planet Ocean, featuring outstanding aerial and underwater ocean views, premiered at the Rio+20 Summit in 2012. The 90 minute movie aims to change the way people look at the ocean, with the hope of encouraging viewers into conservation efforts. Directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot, the movie draws on the expertise of researchers, oceanographers and biologists from several countries. Filmed in over 20 countries around the globe, this movie is a beauty to watch.

The Blue Planet

Nobody narrates quite like David Attenborough, and he’s sure to catch your attention again in this BBC series. The Blue Planet features eight 50-minute episodes, with each episode covering a different part of the ocean. Consider choosing ‘Coral Seas’ to show your friends what diving is all about, or explore the more mysterious parts of the ocean in ‘The Deep’ and ‘Frozen Seas’. The series won multiple Emmy awards for a reason – the underwater photography and accompanying music score are phenomenal.

Disney’s Oceans

More amazing photography can be found in this 2010 French documentary distributed by Disneynature. This movie was filmed in over 50 different locations over the course of four years with a focus on animals and the negative effects people can have on marine animals. Directed by Jacques Perrin, the English narration is performed by Pierce Brosnan.

The Cove

Not for the faint of heart, this 2009 documentary looks at the dolphin hunting practices of Japan. Each year the fishermen of Tiaji, Japan drive dolphins into an isolated cove where the dolphins are either captured for the aquarium trade, or slaughtered for their meat. The movie claims that 23,000 dolphins and porpoises are killed by Japan’s whaling industry each year. Dealing with a heavy topic, this documentary won the US Audience Award at the 25th annual Sundance Film Festival in 2009.


This 2013 documentary looks at the treatment of captive killer whales by focusing on Tilikum, an orca held by SeaWorld. Tilikum, who was involved in the deaths of three individuals, is portrayed as an aggressive whale dealing with the harsh realities of captivity. Sure to spark controversy, Blackfish was called ‘inaccurate and misleading’ by SeaWorld. Watch the documentary to come to your own conclusions.

End of the Line?

Based on a book of the same name, this 2009 movie looks at how the Bluefin tuna could go extinct due to overfishing. Interviewing fishermen, scientists, and fisheries enforcement officials, this movie may have you rethinking your next meal.

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