The islands of New Zealand were the last major landmass to be colonized by people. Their beaches, mountains and forests had lain untouched since the dawn of time…. isolated and protected. It was a fertile oasis for marine animals, and a South Pacific Garden of Eden for the land-lovers. Evolution ran riot to create some of the rarest and most unusual wildlife on Earth; making New Zealand a strange land of amazing creatures.
The ocean is under immense pressure from human activity, but, as Siana Fitzjohn says, because we don't live in the ocean, we need to be shown how bad the situation is if we hope to connect with the issues and do something to address them.
'Film the Trawlers’ is a project aimed at showing the activities of New Zealand’s industrial fishing fleet. Top of the list is bottom trawling, the destructive fishing practice where weighted nets are dragged along the seafloor, destroying entire ecosystems, to catch our most popular eating fish like orange roughy, hōki and oreo. If people understand the link between fish in the supermarket and the horror of industrial-scale destruction, then behaviour will start to change.
Dave Lowe's journey with the atmosphere began in 1970 as a 23-year-old physics graduate, where he made the first measurements of carbon dioxide levels in New Zealand. The data he collected at Baring Head became an important part of David Keeling's research into the seasonal changes of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere - and, due to the steadily increasing levels he charted over the years, an inescapable record of what humans were doing to the planet.
"I think everyone's aware now that the climate is changing very rapidly, but this is a horror I've had to live with for over 50 years," Lowe says.
So can we turn the tide? "The thing that Covid-19 has taught us was that when there's an existential threat that's in your face, human beings can collectively get up and do some remarkable things. And in the same way, human beings can get to grips with global heating and dramatically reduce carbon emissions. We know how to do this."
Fiji is a nation of coral beaches, coconut palms and unforgettable sunsets – but it’s also a wildlife paradise and a place of many mysteries. One such mystery is how a three-foot long tropical South American tree dwelling lizard came to be marooned in the middle of the Pacific thousands of miles from its home.
After months of training, the young performers of China’s only Ice Acrobatics troupe are ready to show the world their unique take on this ancient art. But an unexpected run of technical catastrophes threatens to destroy their dream.