Animal Planet’s new six-part series Ocean Warriors will gut you with footage that shows the careless and destructive ways people fish the world over, often destroying the ecosystems where those fish live in the process.
The premiere heads to Thailand, and reveals exactly how this illegal fishing is ruining the ocean floor. One scene where a puffer fish suffocates on the deck will draw some tears as the reporter talks about Little Nemo and how all the film’s characters lay dying on the deck in front of him. The trawler pulls up the entire ocean floor including delicate corals and octopus that are shown dying on the deck.
At first, the fishermen are nervous that they are being filmed but the reporter allays their fears to get footage of what it is they actually do. When the trawler nets are pulled up, you can see the enormous waste and decimation to the habitats where these fish and sea life live.
The catch itself is also a poor one, with baby fish and other species that humans don’t eat. Only fit for pet food, the operation also wrecks local sustainable fishing both by destroying their traps and killing the next generation of fish that humans do eat.
They also uncover something equally as insidious: A vibrant and established human trafficking network of fishing slaves that extends from Africa to Indonesia.
The oceans are so vast that it is nearly impossible to catch those who would pollute, defile and illegally fish.
In future episodes the series travels from Tanzania to Thailand to Antarctica and beyond.
Robert Redford and Paul Allen are executive producers on this illuminating and worrisome series that takes a critical look at the methods that people use harvesting food from the sea.
Have a look at our exclusive clip showing the carnage in Thailand from illegal trawling:
Watch Animal Planet’s Ocean Warriors premiering Sunday, December 4, with back to back episodes at 9/8c and 10/9c.