G5A Cinema House | Theme: Underwater World | Segment 02
In 2012, the largest spawning aggregation of squaretail groupers was discovered in the waters of a tiny island of Bitra, in the Lakshadweep archipelago, India. This discovery opened up a very important dialogue about marine conservation in India. The local fishermen and local governing council took immense pride in this aggregation and decided to protect the groupers by means of a temporal fishing closure since 2014. It came to known as the
first floating reserve of India. In the last five years however, due to decline in tuna catch, which was the fish islanders targeted for household consumption
and sale, the demand for reef fish (especially groupers) has risen. This resulted in the status of the floating reserve being revoked. This is a story
about the aggregation through the eyes and voice of a female squaretail grouper.
Film 02: Peng Yu Sai
Peng Yu Sai is an investigative documentary that uncovers the illegal trade in Manta Rays from India’s oceans. Wildlife filmmaker and investigative journalist Malaika Vaz follows the trade pipeline from fishing vessels in the Indian Ocean to the Indo-Myanmar border, and finally undercover in the global wildlife trafficking hubs of Hong Kong and Guangzhou in China. Along the way, she meets with fishermen, middlemen, traffickers, armed forces personnel and wildlife trade kingpins as she tries to understand what it will take to protect these magnificent ocean giants. As she delves deeper into the shadowy criminal networks that traffic these animals, she gets a firsthand view of how insidious and destructive the manta trade is to both wild ecosystems and human health.
Film 03: I Am Here
Both near and far, in earth and ocean are creatures as vocal as us. Although we might never hear some of them, we know that they call. They hoot and howl, chirrup and cackle, sing and snarl – could it mean something to us? Their voices vibrating as one note alongside our own, in this ringing spinning, humming earth.
Film 04: Dhivarah
Faith, work, and religion all merge together in this short documentary that dives deep into the endangered fishing industry in Karnataka, India. The documentary explores the religious and demanding routine fishermen have to go through every time they go out into the sea, but as climate change makes it harder to catch the fish that flees for cooler waters and a slowly decaying industry that complicates the livelihood of the fisherfolk, the fishermen have to go out facing a concerning unpredictability, as fishing is not just a hobby, but a way of life.
Screenings followed by a conversation with Malaika Vaz and Pooja Rathore.