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December 6, 2023

A tale of heartbreak and loss: New film tells the story of lives torn apart by Big Oil

There is a tragedy playing out now in UK seas. Drilling for oil and gas is leaving our ocean wildlife deafened, choking and defeated.

The ear-splitting seismic blasts come first, in the exploration phase. A noise 100,000 times more intense than a jet engine sends shock waves through the ocean. It’s followed by a toxic cocktail of pollutants, including neurotoxins, microplastics and the deadly oil itself. These blight our internationally important marine wildlife, from whales to whitebait.

Drilling and pipelines decimate our extraordinary and fragile deep sea sponge communities, ancient cold-water corals and more. It feels even more tragic that so little is known about many of these species and that most people aren’t aware they exist in our waters.

Astonishingly, more of these destructive developments are planned. In response, the Ocean Alliance Against Offshore Drilling is saying: Enough – Big Oil has no place in our seas. 

To promote the launch of the alliance, a new film has been created by award-winning nature filmmaker Tom Mustill and his team at Gripping Films, led by short-form ninja Fergus Dingle.

Tom Mustill said:

“We wanted to tell the stories of those in peril, whose lives are being torn apart right now because of the short-sighted greed of oil companies and our government, who are enabling them. It’s easy to think of our ocean as infinite, and marine wildlife as otherworldly and unaffected by our actions. This is not some distant story, this is happening right now in our seas. We framed this film as a work of fiction, but lives are being torn apart by drilling and we can stop this. If we don’t, we damage not just whales and other marine species, but the collective future of the people too. We believe in the UK public. That we can stand up and protect our seas and all who live in them. No one else will, so we must.”

Footage credit: Greenpeace | Alex Westover