UN Development Programme movie Saving our Tuna wins Gold at international film festival

Apr 20, 2015

Fishing vessels equipped with sonar and other tracking devices catch millions of tons of tuna each year

Bangkok, 22 April 2015 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) film Saving our Tuna won the prestigious Gold Remi Award in the  documentary category last weekend at the 48th Annual Worldfest International Film Festival, the oldest independent film festival in the world.

The 22-minute film examines the $5 billion a year tuna industry and the technology used to both catch the fish and keep the catch in check. More than 4.5 million tons of tuna are caught each year in a business that is an economic lifeline for Pacific island countries. But the world’s insatiable appetite for this valuable resource is threatening its very future.

Saving our Tuna examines rich fishing grounds, where fleets of fishing vessels equipped with sonar, and sophisticated satellite tracking devices are catching millions of tons of tuna, making it the third most harvested fish in the ocean.

Saving our Tuna aired on Discovery Channel in Asia last year, and was produced by UNDP and Arrowhead Films. Its aim is  to draw attention to the increasing harvest rates of a resource so vital for so many in the Pacific, and to shed light on the uses of technology for catching, and perhaps even helping to save the tuna industry.

"UNDP is honored by the award and we hope the movie continues to inform the world community about the plight of the tuna, their importance to so many for food security and livelihoods, and the need for sustainable practices to ensure the future of this precious commodity," says Nicholas Rosellini.

UNDP together with the Global Environment Facility, NGOs, governments and other partners, including the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Forum Fisheries Agency, has supported the management of tuna and other ocean resources in the Pacific since the 1990s.

"We consider the oceans an endless bounty, but the oceans are far from unlimited," says Andrew Hudson, UNDP’s Oceans Management expert.

The movie reveals cutting edge air and sea monitoring operations to enforce fishing limit compliance. It shows tuna tagging and uses of satellite technology in the industry. It brings viewers into the cockpit of a P3 Orion aircraft as it flies over vast tracks of ocean to crack down on illegal fishing.

View: One-minute trailerFilm five-minute version |

Contact information


Cedric.Monteiro@undp.org in Bangkok +66922567835

UNDP Around the world