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Angling for truth

When thinking about summer movies, the mind tends to drift towards giant robots, glorious explosions, and overpaid movie stars.

When thinking about summer movies, the mind tends to drift towards giant robots, glorious explosions, and overpaid movie stars. Thoughtful documentaries about the potential global dangers of over-fishing don’t exactly spring to mind.

“It’s not a natural subject for the movies, is it?” joked director Rupert Murray while speaking to Metro about his new documentary The End Of The Line. “You can’t really film over-fishing,” he said.

“But you can paint a picture of the concept by gathering a spectrum of statistics, talking heads, and on-the-ground-experience and then editing it together to give audiences the story of a crime that goes on all over the world.”

What Murray is referring to is the practice of industrial over-fishing, which is currently catching fish faster than they can repopulate. The practice has already put several fish on the endangered species list and has the potential to lead to the extinction of many more, destroying ecosystems and putting millions of fisherman out of work.

It’s not an issue that’s widely discussed, but one with potentially disastrous consequences.

“I think people look at fish and think food. They don’t think about fish welfare,” said Murray. “What our film tries to do is say that this affects everyone whether you eat fish or not. Scientists have even found a link between over-fishing and climate change. It affects the whole planet and there are real consequences for everybody.”

The film is an entertaining but sobering account of this issue, revealing many shocking truths like the fact that high-end restaurants including London’s Nobu openly serve endangered species.

“There is a warning on the menu that says ‘this fish is endangered, please ask you server for an alternative if you’re offended.’ But why is it on the menu in the first place,” asked Murray. “Why on earth do they think it’s acceptable? You wouldn’t serve an endangered tiger or lion, but that’s the unfortunate thing about sea predators is that they’re so delicious.”

The movie does suggest that the issue can be resolved, but not without acknowledging the problem and making a serious effort to solve it. Murray doesn’t think his film will directly change anything, but hopes it will at least alert audiences to the issue for the first time.

 
 
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