Skip to Content
Looting the Pacific cover photo

Looting the Pacific 2012


Distributed by Bullfrog Films, PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547; 800-543-FROG (3764)
Produced by Sheila Menon, Davina Rodrigues for tv/e
Directed by Bill Treharne Jones and Steve Bradshaw
DVD, color, 88 min.

Jr. High - General Adult
Ecology, Global Issues, Wildlife Conservation

Date Entered: 05/01/2014

Reviewed by Cliff Glaviano, formerly with Bowling Green State University Libraries, Bowling Green, OH

A crash in the population of jack mackerel in the South Pacific Ocean led to consideration by the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRMFO) to ratify a convention regarding fishing quotas or a moratorium on fishing for jack mackerel beyond coastal countries’ territorial limits. Mort Rosenblum of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) led an investigation into SPRMFO deliberations which resulted in overfishing of the jack mackerel fishery prior to the ratification of the convention: fishing countries vied to increase their take of jack mackerel in order to ensure future high quotas in the soon to be regulated fishery.

Essentially, fish meal made of processed jack mackerel or from sardines is a primary food used in farming salmon. Farmed salmon compete economically with wild caught salmon for a place at the international table. It takes about 10 kgs. of jack mackerel protein (via fish meal) to produce 1 kg. of farmed salmon protein. Once thought an inexhaustible renewable resource, jack mackerel, through overfishing, may now be a threatened species.

This video is recommended as an introduction to the complexities of global fisheries, global competition and global economies. International regulation of natural resources is complex and regulation of fisheries resources is complicated by the concept of international waters. As seen in this film, the potential of initiating fishing quotas may have unintended consequences. Looting the Pacific is but one release in a very promising series, Reframing Rio, a collection of videos that seeks to stimulate debate on global issues first discussed at the Rio Earth Summit in 2012. Other offerings include Life Apps (five films), creating mobile apps for global sustainability, and Zero Ten Twenty (three films), exploring the effects of globalization on youngsters lives.