Cannes—Documentary filmmakers shooting a new blockbuster nature series in the Philippines said Sunday they chased men they saw fishing with dynamite.
A camera crew working on the new four-part show “Big Pacific”—which is to start screening across the globe this summer—filmed as the coastguards they were with gave chase.
“The illegal fishermen fled and crashed into the shore, abandoning their vessel,” the series’ executive producer Kyle Murdoch told AFP.
He said his crew was in a lagoon in the Philippines shooting a dugong mother and her calf when they “felt a massive underwater explosion.”
“They rushed over to the other side of the cove where some people were dynamite fishing. Luckily we filmed the whole thing. The rack and ruin was incredible. Our team was devastated by what they saw— but they were able to capture it all on film and show the real problems these animals face and what local heroes are trying to do,” Murdoch added.
Footage of the incident has been included in the “making of” episode of the big-budget series, which is being billed as the next landmark nature series in the mold of the BBC’s “Planet Earth” and “Great Barrier Reef.”
It will be aired by public broadcasters from the US to China, Europe and Japan this year.
“Unfortunately, the dynamite fishermen got away,” Murdoch said after the series was premiered at the TV industry’s top gathering, MIPTV, at Cannes on the French Riviera.
Despite the Philippine government declaring an “all-out war” on rogue fishermen, the practice is still endemic and is estimated to have damaged 70 percent of the archipelago nation’s coral reefs.
The Philippines is part of the Coral Triangle, an area of water spanning Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands that is known as the global centre of marine biodiversity.