In a compelling new documentary titled “RED, A Sea Worth Protecting,” the world’s attention is drawn to the Red Sea, a body of water often perceived as one of the purest on the planet. However, beneath its pristine surface lies a troubling reality – ancient endangered species teeter on the brink of extinction. This dire situation is not just a regional concern; it is a global crisis demanding immediate action, according to the film’s director, Philip Hamilton.
The documentary showcases the dedicated efforts of scientists and conservationists who are committed to safeguarding the Red Sea’s endangered species, including dugongs, turtles, and sharks, all listed on the Red List of Endangered Species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Hamilton emphasizes, “The point we’re trying to make is that this is a global problem. Even in what’s supposed to be the most pristine place on Earth, like the Red Sea, we still face ecological challenges. It is imperative that governments, officials, policy makers, NGOs, and scientists come together to address this issue.”
He underscores that the Red Sea’s significance extends far beyond its geographical boundaries. “It’s one planet, and species migrate. The problems of coral bleaching, rising temperatures, and acidity levels are indeed global issues.”
The documentary, produced by Ocean Souls Films, not only delves into the Red Sea’s history and geography but also sheds light on the remarkable but critically endangered marine life that inhabits it. The film provides insights into what should ideally be one of the world’s “least concern” seas.
As the documentary unfolds, viewers witness the inspiring journey of individuals dedicating their lives to Red Sea conservation. Their struggles, sacrifices, achievements, and hopes are vividly portrayed.
Hamilton points out that even in the remotest corners, thousands of kilometers from human civilization, marine life is suffering from pollution, including metals and microplastics.
The film’s production faced the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed the team to work in locations that would typically be crowded with tourists.
The Red Sea, situated between Africa and Asia, connects multiple nations, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Israel, Eritrea, and Djibouti. Philip Hamilton highlights the collaboration with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, which is at the forefront of coral research and conservation efforts.
Hamilton, a seasoned marine biologist and filmmaker, stresses the importance of inspiring others worldwide through the documentary. He urges greater international collaboration and the establishment of marine protected areas, similar to successful initiatives in other regions.
He specifically mentions the United Arab Emirates’ hosting of COP28, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, as an opportunity for global cooperation in addressing marine conservation issues. Hamilton calls for integrated planning that considers the impact of tourism on endangered species and ecosystems.
Hamilton underscores the need to view nature without borders, passports, visas, religion, or race. He emphasizes the urgency of implementing policies on the high seas on a global scale, acknowledging the challenges but highlighting the importance of collective action to protect our planet’s precious ecosystems.