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Sylvia Earle’s Life and Mission on Screen in “Mission Blue”

In 2009, “The Cove” awakened viewers to the grisly violence of the annual Taiji dolphin hunt in Japan. Audiences around the world cringed and expressed outrage at the maritime hunting practices of people in one part of one nation.

Now that film’s producer, Fisher Stevens, is back, taking the director’s chair along with Robert Nixon (director of “Gorillas in the Mist”), and his scope has widened considerably. “Mission Blue” (available August 15 through Netflix) aims to open our eyes to the startling impact that we all have on life in the ocean.

The film follows National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle from her early days as a record-setting diver and oceanographer, to her current ceaseless campaign to make everyone aware of the dangers facing the ocean and to inspire them to act to protect it.

Overfishing; pollution; acidification from climate change: these are the unpleasant realities of today’s ocean, a far cry from the teeming waters into which Sylvia first dove.

Co-Director  Fisher Stevens photographs a school of fish in Cabo Pulmo, Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Bryce Groark and Hope Spots Company Inc.)
Co-Director Fisher Stevens photographs a school of fish in Cabo Pulmo, Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Bryce Groark and Hope Spots Company Inc.)

“60 years ago, when I began exploring the ocean, no one imagined that we could do anything to harm it,” Sylvia says. “Mission Blue” makes it clear just how wrong we were.

Students and teachers can also dive much deeper through lesson plans and research materials from National Geographic Education.

The film, like Sylvia Earle’s message every day, pulls no punches when it comes to unveiling the detriments humans have brought to the ocean. But also like her, it leaves the viewer with a renewed sense of awe at the power of life in the ocean to recover. Through major alterations to our current practices, and an ever growing network of marine protected areas around the world, Sylvia Earle believes we can still save the ocean from collapse.

But whether it will happen is a bigger cliffhanger than even Hollywood can leave you with.

Learn More

Sylvia Earle Bio

Mission Blue on National Geographic Education

“Mission Blue” on Netflix


  1. w.sam
    August 16, 2014, 12:33 pm

    this is a amazing picture.i like it.,i am proud to this stils

  2. mustapha yakubu
    Nigeria(kaduna state)
    August 16, 2014, 5:53 am

    I realy like your program

  3. Cynthia Hever
    United States
    August 15, 2014, 4:11 pm

    I stand with Sylvia Earle. She’s from a long line of women heroines who include Rosalie Edge, Rachel Carson and many, many others, unseen, who toil relentlessly, with little reward or recognition, on behalf of our beautiful, yet fragile, planet Earth. I am proud to stand with them.