The first season of PBS’ documentary series, Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina is a fitting release for anyone that has any interest in maritime sciences, conservation, and all things nautical. Host Carl Safina takes viewers across the world’s oceans and rivers through the course of ten episodes showing the effect that mankind has had on the world’s sea-swelling animals. The material contained within these ten episodes is hardly anything new. Viewers are reminded once again through each one the damage that mankind has wrought on the world’s bodies of water. But through it all, Safina and company do remind audiences that there is still hope thanks to devoted individuals leading the charge to protect the world’s oceans and its inhabitants.
The show’s first season takes viewers from the dry Baja desert to the turtle refuge of Trinidad and Tobago and points in between showing the impact that humans have had on the world’s waters. Those impacts are both good and bad, as evidenced in episodes such as the two-part episode, ‘River of Kings’ and in ‘Trinidad’s Turtle Giants.’ The prior of the pair is a two-part episode showing how descendants of the Nisqually Indian Tribe are trying to help protect the salmon population and help it flourish in the Nisqually River. The episode explains how measures taken by the descendants of the tribe have re-opened marshland that was once dry and thus allowed the salmon population return to the region once more and spawn. This has, in turn, had a positive impact on both the local Pacific Northwest region as well as the overall population of the different salmon species. The latter of the episodes noted here shows how efforts by one woman in the island nation of Trinidad and Tobego helped to save the Leatherback Turtle population in her nation. It was through her efforts that Leatherbacks became a protected species and as a result brought in far more money via tourism than hunting them ever had. Some of the footage in this episode is not easy for some viewers. This includes younger viewers. So viewer discretion should be used here. Kudos to Safina for even noting this within the episode, too.
While the episodes included in Season One of Saving The Ocean with Carl Safina could be argued to be beating the proverbial dead horse, that’s not a bad thing. The world needs to be reminded of the dangers of mankind’s impact on what he should be protecting. None of the episodes included in this double-disc set is overly preachy in its delivery of this message, either. Rather, viewers are gently nudged and reminded that overfishing the world’s waters and general neglect can have a massively negative impact. But there are still people providing hope without vigilante style methods. Rather, Safina interviews academics and those most closely linked to the issues raised in each episode. The lack of drama that certain other shows bring (I.E. Whale Wars) makes it all the more interesting to watch, believe it or not.
The lack of drama in each episode and the more real world look at the problems facing the world’s oceans and waterways makes each episode in the show’s first season all the more watchable and believable, too. There is another factor that works into the show’s ability to reach its viewers. That factor is the episode lengths. Each episode contained on this two-disc set comes in at just under half an hour. To be more precise, each episode comes in at roughly twenty-five minutes. Typically, such a short time is fitting for young audiences. But adults have just as short an attention span in general. So this makes for another positive to this set, especially considering the combination of the episodes’ lengths and the writing. The two partner quite well along with the equally brilliant footage to complete the season’s positives and make each episode more worth viewing at least once.
Saving the Ocean Season One is available now and can be ordered online via PBS’ online shop at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=17475886&cp=&kw=saving+the+ocean+with+carl+safina&origkw=Saving+The+Ocean+with+Carl+Safina&sr=1. After ordering the double-disc set, audiences can also go to the official PBS Facebook page to keep up with all of the latest news and more from PBS at http://www.facebook.com/pbs or the official PBS website at http://www.pbs.org.
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