The Last Ocean

Warren M. Doty

Selectman, Town of Chilmark; President, Menemsha Fisheries Development Fund

The Last Ocean— What is the state of local fisheries?

A discussion of local fisheries and the balancing of commercial with environmental conditions.

Martha's Vineyard Film Society Tisbury, MA

Film Synopsis

The race to protect Earth's last untouched ocean—the Ross Sea in Antarctica—from our insatiable appetite for fish. The film raises the simple ethical question: do we fish the last ocean or do we protect it?

The Ross Sea, Antarctica, is the most pristine stretch of ocean on Earth. It is a vast, frozen landscape that teems with life—whales, seals, and penguins carving out a place on the very edge of existence. California ecologist David Ainley has been traveling to the Ross Sea to study this unique ecosystem for more than 30 years. Largely untouched by humans, it is one of the last places where the delicate balance of nature prevails. But an international fishing fleet has recently found its way to the Ross Sea. It is targeting Antarctic toothfish, sold as Chilean sea bass in upscale restaurants around the world. Ainley knows that unless fishing is stopped, the natural balance of the Ross Sea will be lost forever. He rallies his fellow scientists and meets up with a Colorado nature photographer and a New Zealand filmmaker, both of whom share a deep passion for this pristine corner of the world. Together they begin a campaign taking on the commercial fishers and governments in a race to protect Earth's last untouched ocean.

About the Speaker

Warren M. Doty has been a selectman in the Town of Chilmark for 18 years. During those years, a major focus of his service has been to maintain Menemsha Harbor as a working waterfront for commercial fishing. He has followed in great detail the ups and downs of commercial fishing on Martha‚Äôs Vineyard, attended hundreds of meetings about fisheries regulations, and has been for years the president of the Menemsha Fisheries Development Fund.