A 30-minute version of the award-winning film, Invaders From the Sea, a BBC Worldwide-IMO Production, can now be viewed for free online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5JkRtMTEdI
This film gives a unique insight into an important environmental issue: the transfer of harmful organisms in ships’ ballast water. Filmed by the internationally renowned BBC Wildvision, this amazing story looks at how this phenomenon is affecting our coasts and millions of lives around the world and the measures taken by the global community to fight against these alien stowaways.
The film captures the dramatic impact of this issue on the lives of millions of people, using examples of harmful organisms, which have been transported to new areas in ships’ ballast water:
North American comb jelly – has been transported to the Caspian Sea. This tiny ctenophore is a voracious predator and reproduces rapidly under favourable conditions. It feeds excessively on zooplankton, depleting stocks and altering the food web and ecosystem function. It contributed significantly to the collapse of fisheries in the Black and Azov Seas in the 1990s, with massive economic and social impact, and has now depleted stocks of the local kilka fish in the Caspian Sea. The impact on one Caspian fisherman and his family is highlighted in the documentary.
Golden mussel (Limnoperma fortunei) – a native to south eastern Asian rivers and creeks, which has been transported in larval form in ships’ ballast water to South America. It travelled to Brazil up river from the coastline of Argentina and is a highly reproductive invasive species that clogs up water intake pipes for hydro-electric power stations and fouls up other structures. It affects the feeding patterns of local fish, causing fish stocks to fall. The film shows the devastating impact of the golden mussel on fishing and hydro-electric power stations and on the local ecosystem.
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