Mediterranean: Life Under Siege

Mediterranean: Life Under Siege

Explore the stunning but hostile Mediterranean ocean, where astonishing wildlife has adapted and endured: until now. Filmed over 2 years in 12 different countries, this landmark natural history documentary series looks at the threats faced by the Med’s creatures as they come under intense pressure from human activity. What can be done to protect these endangered ecosystems?

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Mediterranean: Life Under Siege on BBC Select

The Mediterranean Ocean is one of the true wonders of the planet. These crystal blue waters have borne witness to the evolution of the Earth’s lifeforms, the rise of ancient human civilizations and the birth of cities and seafaring. Millions flock to the Med every year to enjoy its natural delights. But this stunning ocean is under threat.

Global warming, intense fishing, increased maritime transportation and pollution are all taking their toll on the water and the creatures that live in and around it. What secrets have these specific species found to help them survive and flourish under intense human pressure? And what can be done to protect these endangered ecosystems?

Filmed over the course of two years in 12 different countries and drawing on the expertise of 50 scientists from across the world, this epic documentary saga shows the challenges faced by an endangered paradise on the brink. Focusing on the lifecycle of the animals threatened by human activity in the Mediterranean, the journey from birth to death is explored.

Loggerhead turtles battle the turbulent seas to reach the location where they were born so they can also lay eggs and hopefully help their species survive. Bluefin tuna dodge fisherman’s nets and vast container ships to spawn in one particular place, where their ancestors also bred. A free diving champion bonds with monk seals, who are now close to extinction and witnesses a precious seal pup attempt to reach maturity.

The brutality of life in the Mediterranean is also revealed. An aging flamingo, suddenly too old to complete an intricate courtship dance, is ostracized by the rest of the flock and left to die. Olive groves that have survived for thousands of years are suddenly at threat from the over-heating ground. And the effects of an enormous oil spill are still felt decades later as the animal population struggles to recover. But the documentary also highlights the people attempting to find solutions to these man-made problems. Scientists, ecologists and ordinary citizens of the Med, determined to help the animal and plant life of the region and change the way we think about the seas surrounding us.

Filmed in astonishing detail by some the world’s leading photographers Mediterranean: Life Under Siege showcases the true wonder of the ocean’s aquatic life while also revealing the extent that human activity has had on this iconic location

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