The SHOCKING truth about our dying oceans.

The SHOCKING truth about our dying oceans.

August 16, 2019 100 By William Morgan


(gentle music) (waves rustling) – [Narrator] The story of the oceans is a story older than us. (air whooshing) 70% of the surface
(bell dinging) of our planet is blue. We’ve been to the moon
but have barely explored the 5% of the oceans’ depths. Most life on Earth lives there. More than the Amazon,
the oceans are our lungs. The seas suck up our carbon and you can squeeze the entire atmosphere of all the air we breathe into a space the size of the Mediterranean Sea. Life came from the oceans. The first creatures with
eyes looked out from the sea. We owe fishes our color vision
and our sense of hearing. The story of fishes is
a story older than us by some 500 million years. We’ve evolved with them. The symphony of life amongst
the coral and the waves makes us who we are from
the teeth in our jaws to the salt in our veins. (inspirational vocalizing music) This is the home of whales,
plankton, seaweed, and fishes. There are over 33,000 species. Each life is unique, a mystery. There are more fishes
than birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. We are the village; they are the kingdom. And yet we share so much. The same body systems,
muscles, nerves, and senses. The same fibers that transmit pain. We even fall for the
same optical illusions. Our love for the oceans is our love for the elegance of the shark, the fragility of the seahorse, and the cheek of the clownfish. The abundance and majesty of a world more colorful and diverse
than we could ever imagine. (tense music) Many ocean fishes will be dead by 2050. Plastics have reached
the deepest trenches. And the wonders of the world’s
great coral reefs are dying. Ocean dead zones are caused
by pollution from farms where nothing can live. We caused this. Ancient sea turtles swim alone in worlds where they can’t find a mate. Magnificent predators swim
on the brink of extinction caught in nets as by-catch,
killed for their fins. The world’s fishing fleet has doubled in the past 65 years but
they’re finding it much harder to catch fish. A fifth of all plastic
pollution in the ocean is discarded fishing nets. And as one population of fishes crashes, we move onto the next. Fish farms aren’t the answer. Riddled with disease, billions of fish live in abject misery. More than a quarter of
our wild-caught fishes are used to make farmed fish feed. It takes 120 wild-caught fish to raise just a single farmed
salmon to reach your plate. But why do we do this? (gentle music) Maybe because we think
fish aren’t the same as us? We think they only have
a three-second memory but sockeye salmon record every detail of their birth river and make
their way back years later when it’s their time to spawn. And we think they can’t
smell but the American eel can detect one millionth
of a drop of home water in an Olympic sized swimming pool. And we think they can’t hear. But coy will grow faster
listening to Mozart and Beethoven. And we think they can’t use tools. But triggerfish will pick up
stones and rap on the side of a tank to let you know
that it’s feeding time. And we think they can’t feel pain but we’ve evolved from
the same common ancestors. A hook through her cheek will hurt a cod as it hurts you. We only know a fraction
of the lives of fishes with whom we share this planet but we already know they are
feeling, smart, social animals in all the ways that matter. (inspirational vocalizing music) Does it matter we live in the air and they live in the water? Does it matter that we both
form bonds with our friends? Fishes are under threat
from the same climate crisis as we are. In this fight, humans and fish are allies. What matters is this. The story of fishes is
a story older than us but now their story is ours, too. The warming oceans, the coral bleaching, the plastic pollution, the overfishing. If we don’t fight alongside fishes, we will lose everything. And there are solutions. Together we will create incredible
marine conservation areas with strong regulation. Together we’ll refuse to eat farmed fish that causes cruelty and
decimates wild fishes. Together we will encourage
fisheries and fishermen into more sustainable food production. Together we’ll rethink how we treat the most exploited beings on our planet. There’s no doubt about it. The science has been done. The best diet is one with more plants. The healthiest planet is one where fishes are thriving in their natural environment. And you can do so much
to make this happen. We think fishes are just fish
but we’re better than this. (dynamic inspirational vocalizing music) Are you ready to be the ally? It’s time to rethink fish.