Compass - Ocean Stories, The [world Service]

Episodes

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Broadcast
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01Ocean Stories: The Atlantic20171122

The fishing communities living and working along the shores of the Atlantic

1/4 In this first episode we cross the ocean from the Grand Banks to the tip of South Africa via Reykjavik in Iceland meeting those involved in fishing and working along the shores of the Atlantic.

Beneath the waves, oceanographer Jon Copley from Southampton University provides a fascinating underwater commentary, demonstrating how currents and ocean ridges link the lives on every shore of the Atlantic.

The Atlantic Ocean covers more than 100 million square kilometres, stretching from southern Africa to Iceland and from the Americas to Europe. Named after the Greek God Atlantikos and for the area of water near to the Atlas Mountains, it has shaped human history and culture in more ways than any other ocean as a trade route, a slave passage and as a vital source of food.

For centuries it has been a source of wealth and prosperity for those who voyaged across it in search of food, from the Basque sailors who ventured to North America in search of cod and whale meat, to the Vikings who traversed it long before European explorers began exploring and exploiting its peoples and riches.

It was fish that enabled this early travel and it is fish that has continued to sustain populations around the Atlantic ever since, from Newfoundland to Iceland and onward to West Africa. This first episode of our new series exploring the great oceans of the world looks at the communities eking a living from its waters - their culture, their livelihoods and the challenges they face.

Presenter: Liz Bonnin

(Photo: Icebergs off the coast of Canada's Newfoundland Credit: Getty Images)

1/4 The fishing communities living and working along the shores of the Atlantic

1/4 In this first episode we cross the ocean from the Grand Banks to the tip of South Africa via Reykjavik in Iceland meeting those involved in fishing and working along the shores of the Atlantic.

Beneath the waves, oceanographer Jon Copley from Southampton University provides a fascinating underwater commentary, demonstrating how currents and ocean ridges link the lives on every shore of the Atlantic.

The Atlantic Ocean covers more than 100 million square kilometres, stretching from southern Africa to Iceland and from the Americas to Europe. Named after the Greek God Atlantikos and for the area of water near to the Atlas Mountains, it has shaped human history and culture in more ways than any other ocean as a trade route, a slave passage and as a vital source of food.

For centuries it has been a source of wealth and prosperity for those who voyaged across it in search of food, from the Basque sailors who ventured to North America in search of cod and whale meat, to the Vikings who traversed it long before European explorers began exploring and exploiting its peoples and riches.

It was fish that enabled this early travel and it is fish that has continued to sustain populations around the Atlantic ever since, from Newfoundland to Iceland and onward to West Africa. This first episode of our new series exploring the great oceans of the world looks at the communities eking a living from its waters - their culture, their livelihoods and the challenges they face.

Presented by Liz Bonnin.

(Photo: Icebergs off the coast of Canada's Newfoundland Credit: Getty Images)

02Ocean Stories: The Indian Ocean20171129

Deep sea exploration of the Indian Ocean and the people making a living from the sea

2/4 Only now is deep sea exploration beginning in remote parts of the Indian Ocean to reveal what lies on the ocean floor, what treasures can be found that could be used for scientific and technological development. Underwater mining for minerals is being carried out by several nations and there’s a huge rush around the ocean rim to promote what’s called the Blue Economy, profiting from the ocean and its riches.

We travel around the Indian Ocean from South Africa to Mauritius and North West Australia via the Indonesian island on the edge of the Indian and Pacific oceans to meet people who are developing enterprising ways of profiting from the ocean, whilst being careful not to further damage the fragile Eco systems that have been depleted over decades through over-fishing and climate change.

A fascinating underwater commentary is provided by oceanographer, Jon Copley from Southampton University, explaining the geology and currents that link the shores of the Indian Ocean.

03Ocean Stories: The Arctic And Southern Oceans20171206

The melting ice is changing the sea's composition completely

3/4 As the ice of the Arctic and Southern Oceans melts, its composition changes completely. Ships can now sail through the Arctic from China to Europe; seals, walrus and polar bears have to move further north and find different prey.

In the third edition of our series on the world’s oceans we visit Svalbard and Alaska to discover what change means for the people of the Arctic as the warming climate brings more trade, more tourists and new species. In the Norwegian territory of Svalbard residents find the doors and windows of their homes warping as the permafrost melts. In Alaska the traditional Inuit freezer cabinets - essentially deep holes cut into the ice - no longer keep whale meat fresh through the summer.

The Southern Ocean, wrapped around a vast frozen continent, faces the same warming trends but here the witnesses are penguins and the scientists who monitor them, fishermen and the toothfish and krill that are increasingly easy to catch for a hungry world.

Beneath the waves, oceanographer Jon Copley from Southampton University provides a fascinating underwater commentary, demonstrating how the Southern Ocean can lay claim to being the ‘mother of all oceans’.

As the ice of the Arctic and Southern Oceans melts, its composition changes completely. Ships can now sail through the Arctic from China to Europe; seals, walrus and polar bears have to move further north and find different prey.

In the third edition of our series on the world’s oceans we visit Svalbard and Alaska to discover what change means for the people of the Arctic as the warming climate brings more trade, more tourists and new species. In the Norwegian territory of Svalbard residents find the doors and windows of their homes warping as the permafrost melts. In Alaska the traditional Inuit freezer cabinets - essentially deep holes cut into the ice - no longer keep whale meat fresh through the summer.

The Southern Ocean, wrapped around a vast frozen continent, faces the same warming trends but here the witnesses are penguins and the scientists who monitor them, fishermen and the toothfish and krill that are increasingly easy to catch for a hungry world.

Beneath the waves, oceanographer Jon Copley from Southampton University provides a fascinating underwater commentary, demonstrating how the Southern Ocean can lay claim to being the ‘mother of all oceans’.

04Ocean Stories: The Pacific Ocean20171213

Tourism brings opportunity to the Solomon Islands and the Philippines but at what cost?

4/4 The shores of the Pacific are irresistible to tourists. From the coral wonders of Australia’s Gold Coast to the loneliest South Pacific atoll, local people make their living from the beauty of their surroundings. In the final edition of our series on the world’s oceans we explore how native traditions and the booming business of tourism co-exist.

Many Solomon Islanders would like to see more tourists but worry about the loss of native culture. We meet local people anxious to hang on to traditions like shark-calling and shell money. Will more tourists help or hinder their cause?
Diving on the Great Barrier Reef we hear how tour operators who once denied the coral was in decline now invest money in research to find a ‘super coral’ that can survive warming waters and the pressures of development.

The Philippines is increasingly dependent on tourism and plenty of locals are attracted by the jobs that come with the construction of large scale resorts. Can they be built without destroying the delicate marine life of this stunning corner of the Pacific Ocean?
We ask our oceans to provide an extraordinary range of services, from absorbing our carbon dioxide to providing a stunning backdrop for sunbathing and sipping cocktails. The more pressure we add, the more fascinating stories will emerge from life on the shore.

(Photo: A reef in the Solomon Islands. Credit: Ellen Husain)