The Perils of Plectropomus
(NOTE SPECIAL OFFER BELOW)
The life and death struggles of fish on a coral reef today.
In recent years scientists have pieced together the dramatic life-cycle of reef fish like plectropomus, the coral trout. They have discovered it's a life lived against the odds.
Directed by Richard Smith
Produced by Australian Broadcasting Corporation Science Unit
IN LETTERBOX FORMAT
Today it's not just the natural environment that threatens them; it's the impact of humans. People in the Far East have a tradition of eating fresh fish. In the last 10 years they've developed a taste for live reef fish, attracted by their spectacular color and markings. A live plectropomus can bring in big bucks.
After World War II, fishermen used dynamite to catch reef fish. Today they use cyanide to catch them live. In addition to global warming, it's our appetites that are now threatening plectropomus and everything on the living reef.
We used to think that the stock of reef fish was self-sustaining, but the more we learn about plectropomus, the more we understand the perils it faces.
SPECIAL OFFER: THE PERILS OF PLECTROPOMUS was produced with a companion film called Silent Sentinels, which documents the unprecedented mass coral bleaching event that swept the world's tropical oceans in 1998, "International Year of the Oceans." You save $105 or 21% if you buy both films together. To do so, please order under Special Offers.
Grade Level: 10-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2000
Copyright Date: 1999
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-677-2
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-815-4
"Startling graphics, beautiful images from many habitats, multiple interviews with top-notch scientists, and intelligent narration serve to inform and warn...The essential message...is that market forces are driving an intense fishery for reef species about which we know enough to recognize their vulnerability, but not enough to specify sustainable fishing levels, or predict the ecosystem effects of their decimation...The Perils of Plectropomus does a great job of recounting the natural history of the species... Throughout...it avoids errors of scientific convention, and effectively documents '...the pillage of coral reefs for short term gain.' We need more of this type and calibre of media for the communication of reef science to our students and employers."
Bruce G. Hatcher, Dept. of Biology, Dalhousie
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"Startling graphics, beautiful images from many habitats, multiple interviews with top-notch scientists, and intelligent narration serve to inform and warn." Bruce G. Hatcher, Dept. of Biology, Dalhousie University
Awards and Festivals
Merit Awards for Photography & Presentation of Ecosystem Relationships, International Wildlife Film Festival
Semi-Finalist, Animal Behavior Society Film Festival
Honorable Mention, EarthVision Environmental Film & Video Festival
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"An informative video and highly recommended addition to school and community library... video collections."
"There are a number of videos relating to coral reef life but...this video...combines a lesson about the biology of reef fishes with a discussion of the environmental effects of human actions. I found the video informative and well edited and I highly recommend it for high school, college, and adult viewers."
Barbara Butler, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, MC Journal