The End of the Line: A New Documentary Revealing the Impacts of Overfishing

Written by on June 19, 2009 in Marine Life, Policy & Ocean Law

Today, a new documentary called The End of the Line has its theatrical debut in Los Angeles and New York.  The film follows Charles Clover, an investigative journalist and the author of the book on which the film was based, as he questions and confronts politicians and corporations who show little regard for the damage they are doing to the oceans.  It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Documentary Competition that took place January 15-25, 2009.
This documentary is the first major production to reveal the impacts of overfishing on the oceans.  Filmed over two years and across the globe, the documentary examines the impending extinction of bluefin tuna, the effects of jellyfish overpopulation, and a future with no fish that would result in mass starvation.  This future is not so far away.  An international group of ecologists and economists warned that the world will run out of seafood by 2048 (The Washington Post).

The End of the Line photo.  Credit:

The End of the Line photo. Credit:

“Overfishing was recognized as one of the world’s greatest and most immediate environmental problems in 2002, when it was first demonstrated that global catches of wild fish peaked around 1989 and have since been in decline,” says Clover in a 2009 Update on Overfishing.

The film “lays the responsibility squarely on consumers who innocently buy endangered fish, politicians who ignore the advice and pleas of scientists, fishermen who break quotas and fish illegally, and the global fishing industry that is slow to react to an impending disaster.”  In addition to providing warnings, the film also provides simple, practical solutions that include educating consumers, protecting networks of marine reserves that are off limits to fishing and advocating for controlled fishing of endangered species.

Copyright © 2009 by Marine Science Today, a publication of OceanLines LLC

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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  1. The End of the Line coverage following the film’s UK release at The End of the Line Blog | June 22, 2009