Sustaining Sea Scallops Documentary Film

Sustaining Sea Scallops

Produced by Coonamessett Farm FoundationUnderCurrent Productions

SUSTAINING SEA SCALLOPS is a 35-minute documentary on the history and resurgePlate o scallopsnce of the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, seen through the eyes of fishermen and researchers. In 1999, facing fisheries closures and bankruptcy, the scallop industry began funding a unique research program to minimize impacts on the marine environment. Fifteen years later, the Atlantic sea scallop is hailed as one of the most sustainable and lucrative fisheries in the world.

From New Bedford, Massachusetts to Seaford, Virginia, fishermen and researchers tell a rare tale of renewal, offering cooperative research as a new model for sustaining healthy fisheries and fishing communities.

From the deck of a scallop fishing vessel, we investigate how scientists and fishermen collaborate on studies of gear design, deep sea habitats, and threatened sea turtles. New underwater technologies provide an unprecedented view of the marine environment, including a breathtaking mosaic of sea scallops on the ocean floor and a closeups of a loggerhead sea turtle munching on shellfish.turtle_ted

A Connecticut fishermen describes tough times when trawl fishing went bust, and what changed once scallops started to rebound. Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, and Virginia Institute of Marine Science explain how gear innovations and better surveys ensure scallop future harvests while reducing needless harm to other species and habitat. At the heart of it all, a former NOAA Fisheries captain-turned-farmer works to increase fishermen’s access to these technologies through his non-profit research organization, the Coonamessett Farm Foundation.

As explained by a UMass-Dartmouth economist, the message is clear: a healthy ocean leads to healthy fishing communities, with ripple effects on the larger economy and ecosystem.

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Past Screening Events:

Woods Hole Film Festival Dinner & A Movie – This Sea to Screen event was the first of a 9-part Dinner & A Movie series presented by the Woods Hole Film Festival and feature the Sustaining Sea Scallops documentary film. The event was held at Coonamessett Farm located at 277 Hatchville Road, East Falmouth, MA on Sunday, October 9th from 6 – 9 pm. The dinner included locally caught scallops and fish. Over 100 people attended.

Woods Hole Film Festival – The film screened on Wednesday, August 3 at 6 PM in the Old Woods Hole Fire House as part of the Shellfish Shorts program. It screened again on Friday, August 5 at 7 PM in the Redfield Auditorium before the feature documentary The Memory of Fish.

Dock-U-Mentary Series – The film screened at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park’s Corson Maritime Learning Center Theater located at 33 William Street, March 18th at 7 pm and was followed by a question and answer session with CFF treasurer, Ronald Smolowitz and UnderCurrent Productions directors Elise Hugus and Daniel Cojanu.

Slow Fish 2016 – The film was shown in New Orleans at the Old US Mint and French Market on March 12th.

Seafood Expo North America – The film was shown on screens at the Eastern Fisheries, Inc. booth # 653 during the seafood expo at 415 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210, March 6th – 8th.

Interested in hosting a screening? Please use the contact page to email us.