Julia Barnes writer, director & star of Sea of Life (Seaoflifemovie.com) talks to Skaana producer, Rayne Benu, about what’s killing our oceans and why we need to be heroes to save the fish and ourselves.

“Everyone has the potential to be a hero for the natural world.”

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Making Waves with Julia Barnes

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Show Notes:

  • Julia Barnes talks to Skaana about how she began making the documentary film Sea of Life when she was only 16.
  • How ocean acidification is destroying life in the ocean.
  • Barnes discusses her method for shooting underwater and how to capture a coral reef on camera.
  • Why education is the most significant element to saving the planet.
  • Personhood.
  • The critical role documentaries play in the environmental movement.
  • There is no age limit when it comes to being “a hero for the natural world” — how 7-year-old Ella is making a difference.
  • The importance of reframing how sharks are shown in films.
  • Barnes discusses the importance of establishing marine protected areas so nature can flourish.
  • The role politics, overpopulation and technology play in the destruction of the planet.
  • How fish sequester carbon.

Significant quotes:

“Nature will come back if we let it. Life wants to live.”

“The biggest issue facing the ocean right now is ocean acidifciation.” 

“Fish are people. I consider them people. I consider them friends and equals. I don’t look at them as a commodity.”

“When you meet the life in the ocean, it’s a completely different experience.”

“We’re the only species that’s destroying the world we depend on – that’s not a measure of intelligence.”

“Everyone has the potential to be a hero for the natural world.”

“Do the biggest thing you can possibly think of… The scale of the problem is massive and we need equally massive action.”

“What the ocean needs right now is heroes, it needs passionate people willing to dedicate their lives to fighting or the world we depend on  because we don’t have much time and everything is getting worse.”

“I don’t think we can work within the current system…the system that values money above life.”


  1. Ocean Ark Alliance
  2. Ella Saves the Ocean
  3. What is Ocean Acidification
  4. The Great Hammerhead
  5. Junkyard Symphony

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