Ocean films to educate and inspire | Sustainable Coastlines

Ocean films to educate and inspire

My Octopus Teacher

This Oscar-winning doco follows filmmaker Craig Foster as he dives in the cold, Atlantic shores near Cape Town, South Africa, where he observes and forms a bond with a young octopus. This beautiful documentary highlights the daily life of the octopus, exploring how she sleeps, lives, eats and teaches us the valuable lesson on how precious life is and our connection with nature. It’s a must watch, but fair warning: tears may be shed!

Available on: Netflix


River Blue

River Blue follows river conservationist Mark Angelo as he explores the world’s rivers, from the most breathtaking to uninhabitable. This documentary uncovers how our clothes are made, how it plays a role in the destruction of our rivers globally and solutions that can help us make a difference.

Available on: Vimeo


Mission Blue

Mission Blue tells the story of world-renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle as she travels the globe on an urgent mission to shed light on the dire condition of Earth’s oceans.

Available on: Netflix


Chasing Coral

Chasing Coral is a 2017 documentary film about a team of divers, scientists and photographers around the world who document the disappearance of coral reefs.

Available on: Netflix


A Plastic Ocean

A Plastic Ocean is an adventure documentary shot on more than 20 locations over the past 4 years. Explorers Craig Leeson and Tanya Streeter and a team of international scientists reveal the causes and consequences of plastic pollution and share solutions.

Available on: Netflix


The Story of Plastic

The Story of Plastic takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it. Spanning three continents, the film illustrates the ongoing catastrophe: fields full of garbage, veritable mountains of trash, rivers and seas clogged with waste, and skies choked with the poisonous emissions from plastic production and processing.

Available on: DiscoveryGo. Can be rented on Amazon, Apple TV and Xfinity. Or look for community screenings here.


The Last Ocean

The Ross Sea, Antarctica is the most pristine stretch of ocean on Earth. A vast, frozen landscape that teems with life – whales, seals and penguins carving out a place on the very edge of existence. 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 up-market restaurants around the world. The catch is so lucrative it is known as white gold. Ecologist David Ainley knows that unless fishing is stopped the natural balance of the Ross Sea will be lost forever.

Available on the Last Ocean website.


Fishpeople tells the stories of a unique cast of characters who have dedicated their lives to the sea. Featuring Dave Rastovich, Kimi Werner, Matahi Drollet and more.

Available for free on YouTube.

Ocean podcasts to educate and inspire

Hauraki Gulf Kōrero

The Hauraki Forum have launched their first ever podcast — Hauraki Gulf Korero. Hosted by Qiane Matata-Sipu, Hauraki Gulf Kōrero is about telling stories from around the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, Tīkapa Moana, Te Moananui-ā-Toi. 

Available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts


Water Women

This podcast highlights various perspectives of women who study and document the ocean. They consist of underwater photographers, filmmakers, women who have found innovative ways to break free from plastic, and scientists who provide their knowledge to help us better understand the wonderful critters that live down below!

 Available on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify


Speak Up for the Blue

This podcast explores how to live for a better ocean. It discusses topics such as ocean science, global ocean conservation projects, animals and climate change. New episodes are every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 Available on: Apple Podcasts 


The Marine Talks

Not quite a podcast, The Marine Talks is a series of filmed interviews that aims to bring marine conservation and science to everyday people. The creator, Kai from the Canary Islands, has filmed his latest few episodes here in Aotearoa, featuring Kiwi experts, including our very own Camden Howitt.

Available on YouTube


NOAA Ocean Podcast

Connect with ocean experts and explore topics from corals to coastal science with their audiopodcast.

Listen for free here.


Exploring Earth’s Oceans with Sylvia Earle and Fabien Cousteau

Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with comic co-host Scott Adsit and ocean conservationist Laure Katz to discuss his interviews with legendary explorer and oceanographer Sylvia Earle and aquanaut Fabien Cousteau. You’ll hear how Sylvia and Laure’s each had childhood experiences that sparked their love
for exploring the oceans. Ponder why humans have a hard time showing empathy for certain types of ocean life. Discover why Sylvia says the ocean is “alive,” not just full of water and rocks. Find out how human activity has impacted the way the oceans function and why the acidification of the oceans is rising at an alarming rate.

Listen for free here and here.


It’s Time to Rethink Ocean Conservation

For many, ocean conservation brings up simple ideas like “Look but don’t touch” or thoughts of overfishing in isolated areas. But there is much more to modern conservation, especially when it comes to urban environments.

Listen for free here.


World Ocean Radio

A weekly series of five-minute audio essays on a wide range of ocean issues from science and education to advocacy and exemplary projects, brought to you by long-time host Peter Neill.

Listen here.


Meet the Ocean

Meet the Ocean is an educational podcast using storytelling to improve science communication. Topics and interviews explore the polar regions and other far-off destinations. Content available for all ages.

Find the link to your preferred streaming platform here.