The End of the Line

The End of the Line, 2009,  is the world’s first major documentary about the devastating effect of overfishing premiered at Sundance Film Festival and launched in Spanish in Madrid.

The Spanish version of The End of the Line was launched by MarViva Foundation, Oceana Europe and renowned singer Miguel Bose in Madrid on 3rd February.

The film examines the imminent extinction of bluefin tuna, brought on by increasing western demand for sushi; the impact on marine life resulting in huge overpopulation of jellyfish; and the profound implications of a future world with no fish.

Bose is the narrator in the Spanish version of the documentary, directed by Rupert Murray and based on investigative journalist Charles Clover’s book of the same name.

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During the presentation, MarViva and Oceana released a statement signed by a group of environmental organisations and international figures urging Spain to support the ban on the international trade of bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) at the next Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) that will be held in Doha (Qatar) in March.

Representatives of Greenpeace, Ecologistas en Acción, Pew Foundation and the government of the Balearic Islands, and Roberto Mielgo (the former tuna farmer turned whistleblower who is a protagonist of the film) were present to support the statement.

They highlighted the critical situation that the species is undergoing in the North Atlantic and the need for immediate action to ensure its future. Decades of overfishing, illegal fishing and management dominated by industry interests, have decimated the bluefin tuna spawning stock to levels below 15 per cent of the existing population before industrial fishing.

Negotiations are currently taking place in the heart of the EU for a common stance for the CITES meeting, which will be a determining factor for this species’ future. The European Parliament’s Environment Committee, in a resolution within the process framework, has already urged Member States to support Monaco’s proposal for a ban on international trade.

The signatories consider that Spain has the responsibility of acting to preserve bluefin tuna, and they urge the Spanish government to immediately adopt and promote the following measures:

  • Support for the inclusion of bluefin tuna in Appendix I of CITES. Bluefin tuna is disappearing. The decades of management by the Contracting Parties to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), which include the EU, have been called an “international disgrace” [Report of the Independent Performance Review of ICCAT,  2008]. The parties have shown themselves to be incapable of adopting the necessary measures such as quotas in accordance with scientists’ advice or the closure of the fishery during the spawning period. CITES is currently the sole valid alternative to guarantee the future of this species. On the other hand, the socio-economic considerations do not make sense in this context. The EU Member States must guarantee the fishing industry’s long-term viability. The administration’s current position only constitutes a guarantee that bluefin tuna fishing will cease to exist in the near future. Spain, which currently holds the EU presidency and has the highest quota percentage among Member States, therefore has the responsibility of supporting this measure.
  • Creation of marine reserves in bluefin tuna spawning areas. The protection of bluefin tuna spawning areas in the Mediterranean through the creation of marine reserves is a necessary step to protect this species, starting with the area located to the south of the Balearic Islands where there is already sufficient scientific information that upholds the immediate need for protection.

The signatories include:


  1. Palma Aquarium
  2. PEW Foundation
  3. Slow Food Spain
  4. Slow Food Illes Balears
  5. Greenpeace España
  6. Avina
  7. Ecologistas en Acción
  8. WWF
  9. Grup Balear de Ornitología (GOB) Mallorca
  10. Grup Balear de Ornitología (GOB) Menorca
  11. Grup Balear de Ornitología (GOB) Eivissa
  12. Instituto Internacional de Derecho y Medio Ambiente (IIDMA)
  13. Amics de la Terra Balears
  14. Amigos de la Tierra Spain
  15. Centro de Estudios Rurales y de Agricultura Internacional (CERAI)

International Public figures:

  1. Kofi Annan, former secretary general, United Nations
  2. Javier Solana, former High Representative of the European Union for the Common, Foreign and Security Policy
  3. Michael Douglas, actor
  4. José María Figueres, former President of Costa Rica
  5. Sybilla, designer
  6. Ted Danson, actor
  7. Elle MacPherson, model
  8. Basilio Baltasar, Director, Fundación Santillana
  9. Dr. Enric Sala, investigative scientist of Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) y Ocean Fellow, National Geographic Society
  10. Diego Hidalgo, President, Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE)
  11. Jordi Bigas, journalist
  12. Diego Azqueta, Honorary President, WATU Acción Indígena
  13. Sean Cleary, CEO, Strategic Concepts
  14. Colin and Livia Firth, actors
  15. Jordi Bigas, environmental journalist
  16. Víctor Viñuales, Director, Ecología y Desarrollo
  17. Pedro Barbadillo, director
  18. Rupert Murray, director, The End of the Line
  19. George Duffield, producer, The End of the Line
  20. Charles Clover, investigative journalist, author of The End of the Line
  21. Valeria Golino, actress
  22. Baron Eric De Rothschild, banker
  23. Greta Scacchi, actress
  24. Stephen Fry, actor
  25. Dr. Carles Amengual i Vicens, Education Secretary, Liga Médico Homeopática Internacional
  26. Yannick y Ben Jakober, artists
  27. Irene Peukes, designer
  28. Sandy Hemingway, President, Amigos de la Tierra Spain
  29. Liliane Spendeler, Director, Áreas Ambientales, Amigos de la Tierra Spain
  30. Yolanda Kakabadse, former President, IUCN, and Senior Advisor, Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano
  31. Prof. Jacques Marcovitch, former President, Universidad de Sao Paulo
  32. Jaume Tapies, chef and President, Relais & Chateaux
  33. Musaed Al Saleh, Council member, Earth Council Geneva (ECG)
  34. Jacques Perrin, director and producer
  35. Tom Aikens, chef
  36. Sophie Andrieu, author
  37. Joanna Lumley, actress
  38. Charles Dance, actor
  39. Fiona Shaw, actress
  40. Zac Goldsmith, environmental journalist
  41. Damian Aspinall, entrepreneur
  42. Ben Elliot, entrepreneur
  43. Ben and Kate Goldsmith, entrepreneur and envionromentalists
  44. Laura Bailey, actress
  45. Alan Rickman, actor and director
  46. Prince Urbano Barberini, actor
  47. Richard E Grant, actor
  48. Sophie Dahl, writer and model
  49. Emilia Fox, actress
  50. Amber Valletta, actress and model

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