Environmental Film Reviews

Troubled Waters

In the midst of widespread pollution and the ill effects of climate change, we tend to lose sight of another factor that threatens the vitality of our oceanic ecosystem: overfishing. Troubled Waters examines the long-term economic and environmental ramifications of a rapidly dwindling fish population.

Our romanticized image of a modest working-class fishing boat sailing from port is a fading remnant of the past. Today, corporate-owned super trawlers lurk the seas in search of their next massive marine haul. These tankers are designed to carry as much as 200 tons of fish per day. Many species are overexploited and in danger of extinction. The population of Pacific jack mackerel – a species once thought indestructible – has decreased by as much as 90%.

The largest fish have been the first victims of overfishing. Now these species are gone, and the industry is left to pick through a smaller to medium sized inventory. This practice has fundamentally altered the food chain.

Read more at Top Documentary Films

The Dome

The Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands – a remote location nestled deep within the vast Pacific Ocean between Australia and Hawaii – is a picturesque paradise in many respects. Adorned by clear pale blue waters, breathtaking skies and vivid vegetation, it is also home to one of the most poisonous tombs on the planet. This Cold War artifact hides toxic waste from United States nuclear tests, and rising sea levels are threatening its stability. Produced by ABC News Australia, The Dome travels to this exotic location to uncover the extent to which this structure is eroding, and the threat its leaking contents pose to inhabitants of the region.

The dome itself is a circular slab of concrete set close to the ground on a narrow strip of land. Under this concrete lies the radioactive remnants of atomic explosions conducted almost seven decades ago. Construction on the dome was completed sloppily and with little regard for safety precautions. Proper lining was not installed between the toxic materials and the underlying soil. Cracks are beginning to fester on the dome’s surface and the ocean has already begun to make its way inside.

The workers who built the dome have suffered a myriad of illnesses over the years, and many of them were kept in the dark about what their construction was designed to conceal.

Read more at Top Documentary Films