Fincham, Michael W., producer/director and Jack Greer, producer. 2005. UM-SG-DV-2005-01. $24.95.
Produced in 1997; released on DVD in 2005. 30 minutes. An environmental mystery story that follows the work of scientists specializing in invasion ecology. Dozens of alien species are infiltrating hundreds of American harbors, bays, and estuaries. Green crabs, zebra mussels, toxic dinoflagellates, and dozens of other aliens are altering the ecology and commercial fisheries of our coastal ecosystems.
Green crabs from the Baltic Sea. Zebra mussels from the Black Sea. Seagrasses from Japan. Clams from Korea. Dozens of alien species are infiltrating hundreds of American harbors, bays and estuaries.
How did they get here? And how are they changing our waters?
Alien Ocean tells the dramatic story of scallop fishermen, cargo ship captains, Bay pilots, and scientists who call themselves "invasion biologists." It examines the evidence for alien incursions, historic and recent, in New England, the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay.
Featured in the film are the unexpected discoveries of Jim Carlton and Greg Ruiz, two leading pioneers in a field now called "invasion ecology."
Many of these new arrivals are accidental tourists — hitchhikers across the global ocean, who disembark uninvited in the discharge of ballast waters from the huge cargo ships that enter American ports every day. Some of these species, according to Carlton, are altering the ecology and commercial fisheries of our coastal ecosystems.
"Invasions are part of the game of ecological roulette that we play with nature," Carlton warns Congress. "And because it is roulette, the outcome is almost always unpredictable — and we are far more often the losers."
Alien Ocean is appropriate for courses and workshops in marine and environmental science.