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Riches From The Deep

Production year: 2000 | 3*52 | Genres: Nature
Fish are food, and food is wealth.
Origin country: Norway
Production company: NRK Norsk Rikskringkasting AS
Original title: Riches From The Deep
Original language: Norwegian
Formats: SD

Fish are food, and food is wealth. Recognition of this fact has linked the lives of men and fish since the dawn of time. In the interests of fishing we have constructed mammoth, purpose-built trawlers and factory ships and designed and developed all kinds of fishing gear.

We have fought over fishing rights and, when fish have vanished from the fishing grounds, prayed for the shoals' return. Fishing in the rivers, lakes and oceans of the world has helped to mould our lives and left its imprint on many a local culture and society. This series, Riches from the Deep, is centred on the world's vast fishing resources, and demonstrates what fish mean to man in different countries and cultures.


This programme charts the resources inherent in the world's rivers, lakes and oceans, and shows that this treasure trove is not merely a matter of food and money, but is equally a key to a meaningful life.

When the men of the Pacific island of Mitiaro set out to fish for tuna, they do so from canaoes hewn from trees they fell and lure the fish to them with the aid of shredded coconut. We also meet karaoke-singing fishermen on Vietnam's mighty Mekong river, and learn how cod from the Lofoten Islands, in the north of Norway, find their way to restaurant tables in far-off Italy. And in the United States, on the banks of the Columbia and Snake rivers, we fish for salmon together with Indians who are fighting to retain their ancient fishing rights.


This programme shows how man has harvested the riches of the deep. Dreams of enormous catches have provided the incentive, but dreams are notably nebulous: for some, admittedly, their dreams have come true, but for others they have turned into nightmares.

We meet fishermen on the Pacific island of Mitiaro, and with them fish for parrotfish on the offshore coral reefs. We take part in the world's largest fishery, that for anchovies off the coast of Peru. In China we learn how the world's premier fish-farming nation utilizes its age-old knowledge of. nature to feed millions of people. We also meet a group of affluent fishwives in Ghana and explore the bed of the Aral Sea in Kasakhstan together with local fishermen, men whose livelihood is slowly wasting away as the sea has dried out to less than half its natural size.


The third and last programme in the series explains how we share the harvest of the sea among us.

To start with, the ocean was open to all, but when overfishing became a problem and stocks were in danger of being wiped out, the right to unrestricted fishing evolved into a bitterly fought free-for-all.

Together with ama divers in Japan we dive for molluscs - abalones - and see how the cooperative of which the women are members divides their catches among them. Together with the Norwegian Coastguard we board Russian trawlers; we participate in the purchase of perpetual fishing rights in Icelandic waters; and we learn how Kenyan fishermen survive on the bones that are left after the flesh of the fish they catch has been exported to Europe. More, we see how the people of Mitiaro have shared their catches among themselves, to the benefit of all.

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