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Guardian 2018

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Bullfrog Films, PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547; 800-543-FROG (3764)
Produced by Courtney Quirin
Directed by Courtney Quirin
Streaming, 78 mins

High School - General Adult
Biodiversity; Documentary; Ecology

Date Entered: 01/08/2020

Reviewed by Johnnie N. Gray, Director of Media Services, Christopher Newport University

Guardian is somewhat of a nickname that refers to the job of salmon counting in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest. The documentary follows two men as the last salmon counters in the area - a full time job that requires living on a boat with daily excursions to count salmon in streams. Since the salmon support over 160 species, fisheries management was a priority for the Canadian government, but has fallen to the wayside as large corporations take land to obtain fossil fuels. These guardians have provided important data for controlling overfishing of salmon while witnessing firsthand how the ecosystem changes.

Of particular interest is how the monitoring data is obtained and recorded. Each of the two guardians takes the viewer into their life as they live on a boat, give a history of their job, and the changes they are seeing in the decline of the salmon. Another researcher discusses the whales that have rebounded in recent years and how natural gas and oil companies will threaten their populations in the area. Although this documentary is specifically about the waters off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, anyone interested in nature conservation and ecology will benefit from this well filmed and informative documentary. The lush landscape of the pristine wilderness provides a serene setting with the important message of needing to protect habitats.