Emirates Environmental Group
The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) held its 1st Community Lecture for the year with the film screening of Ocean Deep last night at The Red Theatre of the Canadian University of Dubai.
The documentary is the final episode of BBC’s Planet Earth television series narrated by British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough which, according to its makers, provides a “definitive look at the diversity of our planet.”
EEG Chairperson Habiba Al Marashi said that it is nice to remind us that despite the massive development we’ve seen around, there are still places left unscathed by humanity.
“Ocean Deep shows the pristine beauty of our seas. It poses a big challenge on everyone: Do we act to preserve or destroy our environment?” Al Marashi said.
She added that the EEG also wanted to highlight in its first community lecture the importance of protecting our water resources.
“Everything around us is interconnected. We source our clean potable water from desalinating sea water and we want our seas and oceans to remain pristine and beautiful,” Al Marashi said.
“If we protect all life in the oceans – which unfortunately, are under grave threats – we also preserve our own existence. We must all act now or we will only see the beauty of our planet in the movies,”she added.
Ocean Deep begins with a 30-tonne whale shark being used as a shield by a shoal of bait fish to protect themselves from a school of yellow fin tuna; then it shows a 500-strong school of dolphins heading for the Azores and feast on scad mackerel; while down on the sea floor, scavengers such as the spider crab bide their time waiting for their prey.
The film also features the volcanic mountain chain at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, numbering around 30,000 undersea volcanoes, some of them taller than Mount Everest.
Also shown is an oceanic white-tip shark trailing rainbow runners and dolphins rocketing at top-speed and deep sea octopus fly with wings and vampire squids using bioluminescence creating a wonderful display of colours.
The documentary also show distinct sea creatures existing in the dark deep ocean portraying that life finds its way to survive even in the harshest of environments.
The last sequence depicts the largest animal on Earth – the blue whale, whose population once numbered around 300,000 but only 3% of them now remain.
Sir Attenborough summarized the film in his final line: “Our planet is still full of wonders. As we explore them, so we gain not only understanding, but power. It's not just the future of the whale that today lies in our hands: it's the survival of the natural world in all parts of the living planet. We can now destroy or we can cherish. The choice is ours.
After the film showing, Mr. Abdul Aziz Al Midfa, EEG Vice Chairperson, gave a brief talk on the importance of marine resources conservation. He said everyone should mitigate human-caused damage to marine ecosystems and work on preserving marine species.
The educational activity was well-attended by more than 100 students and individual members of the EEG coming from the public sector, academe and corporate world.
The EEG thanked Canadian University of Dubai for the venue and Abela & Co. for sponsoring the refreshments.