Human Planet Episodes View All

Oceans: Into the Blue

As an air-breathing animal we are not built to survive in water. But people have found ways to live an almost aquatic life so they can exploit the sea’s riches.

From a ‘shark-whisperer’ in the Pacific, to Brazilian fishermen collaborating with dolphins to catch mullet, this journey into the blue reveals astonishing tales of ingenuity and bravery. Daredevil Galician barnacle-collectors defy death on the rocks for a catch worth £200 a kilo.

In Indonesia an epic whale-hunt – using traditional hand-made boats and harpoons – brings in a sperm whale. The Bajau ‘sea gypsies’ of the Sulu sea spend so much time on water they get “land sick” when they step foot on the land! We dive 40 meters down to the dangerous world of the Pa-aling fishermen, where dozens of young men – breathing air through a tangled web of pipes attached to a diesel engine – capture thousands of fish in a vast net!

We see how surfing has its origins in the ancient beliefs of the ocean-loving Polynesians – and we join a Borneo free-diving spear-fisherman on a breath-taking 2 ½ minute journey 20 meters down in search of supper. Stunning!

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