Conservation Documentaries That Aren't Blackfish or Seaspiracy
by Lizzie Perez on Mar 15, 2022
Conservation has been gaining traction in recent years; however, it has also fostered an environment ripe for fear-mongering. Many documentaries focus on our ‘doomed future’ and the seemingly unstoppable degradation of our world’s climate. Seaspiracy villainizes you for enjoying seafood, and Blackfish created a bandwagon for the uninformed anti-captivity crowd. Don’t worry readers, Lizzie has compiled a short list of must-watch documentaries that show you real solutions to the challenges we face in our current climate crisis.
The Cove (2009) dir. Louie Psihoyos
This intense documentary focuses on an underground Japanese market for slaughtering dolphins. If you’re an action fan, this one is for you. A former dolphin trainer and film maker go undercover in Japan to expose the gruesome operation- risking their very lives to expose the truth.
Chasing Coral (2017) dir. Jeff Orlowski
Taking us to the iconic Great Barrier Reef in Australia, we are immersed in the tragic die offs of one of the world’s most important ecosystems: coral reefs. In this documentary, the degradation of both soft and hard corals is recorded in time-lapse photography to bring awareness.
Racing Extinction (2015) dir. Louie Psihoyos
Likely one of the most pivotal documentaries I have ever seen. While it does focus on the negative impact that man has on nature, it also advocates for giving alternative solutions rather than simply complaining about the issue.
The End of the Line (Updated Version: 2017) dir. Rupert Murray
Rather than focusing on what will happen, this documentary examines the past and present state of the world’s fisheries in a plea for awareness. Even though it lacks the harrowing suspense and action of documentaries like The Cove or Racing Extinction, this film faces the facts. It is for the analytic thinkers and STEM science lovers.
Bonus Book: Killing Keiko: The True Story of Free Willy’s Return to the Wild by Mark Simmons
We’ve all seen the widespread outrage that Blackfish caused over animals in captivity, but it fails to examine the ones that can’t be released. Killing Keiko is about the push to release a killer whale who was in captivity for 23 years, and his subsequent death in the wild.