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Ocean Vet

Ocean Vet - shark and diverOcean Vet is a natural history series like no other. Narrated by Hollywood legend Michael Douglas, this incredible series follows the exploits of English veterinarian Dr. Neil Burnie and his Ocean Vet team. Together they set out to save, protect and learn more about Bermuda’s critically important marine life and ecosystem. Watch Neil and Choy Aming (series marine biologist) work with some of the planet's most amazing marine species.

Swimming with and satellite-tagging huge tiger sharks, saving precious green sea turtles, protecting mighty humpback whales, exploring the anatomy of a giant blue Marlin, and saving the life of a prehistoric shark is all just another day in the office for the Ocean Vet team.

Students will experience the joy of discovering the magnificence hidden beneath the sea and gain an appreciation of the fragile nature of our interconnected planet.

Neil’s enthusiasm is truly infectious, and his hands-on approach, along with the team's dedication to saving marine wildlife, makes for compulsive viewing.

Older children and adults
Approx. 25 minutes each

Program descriptions:

Galapagos Shark
Neil and the team are on an emergency call to capture and release a sick Galapagos shark from the Bermuda aquarium. They risk their lives to transport the shark 10 miles off shore for release in a protected marine reserve. Watch Neil and the team swim with larger wild Galapagos sharks, studying their behaviour to see if there’s any truth behind their reputation as wild man-eaters. This marks the start of a scientific study that will eventually help protect the declining population of this species.

Spotted Eagle Rays
Neil and the Ocean Vet team are faced with an intense day of veterinary work checking the health of endangered spotted eagle rays. They face a tricky task to capture one of the most intelligent fish in the ocean. Watch as the team attach satellite tracking tags, take DNA samples, and ultrasound these animals to see if they’re carrying pups. The teams research will answer long standing scientific questions on how these elegant elasmobranchs arrived in Bermuda’s waters.

Tiger Shark
Neil and the Ocean Vet team mark the end of a 7 year study on Bermuda’s tiger sharks by embarking on a dangerous mission to satellite tag one of these giant oceanic predators in a mind boggling and death defying sequence of interactions. The completed mission will help save and protect this incredible shark species.

Blue Marlin
Neil and his team expand their veterinary knowledge as they dissect a giant blue marlin donated to them by a local fishing tournament. Its body is an anatomical and evolutionary wonder that make the blue marlin one of the fastest and most formidable predators in the ocean.

Green Sea Turtle
Neil deploys his veterinary skills to help save Bermuda’s Green sea turtles and assist with groundbreaking scientific research on their health and populations. Follow the team as they capture and release wild green sea turtles in a bid to study their health and populations before fitting a satellite tag to a mature specimen that will collect vital data on it’s oceanic migrations. Neil also works with Bermuda’s turtle stranding network, assisting with the diagnoses, treatment and re-release of an injured green sea turtle washed up on one of Bermuda’s many beautiful beaches.

Sixgill Shark
Follow the team as they work onboard a commercial fishing vessel to help save a prehistoric sixgill shark tangled in deep set fishing lines. Watch Neil and Choy bring the shark to the side of the boat and work in difficult conditions to remove dozens of hooks, cut steel lines and attach a tracking tag before Neil swims this massive shark back to the deep ocean.

Black Grouper
Follow Neil and the team as they explore the deep alien world of the endangered grouper breeding grounds and come face to face with one of the biggest threats to the Atlantic ecosystem, the invasive lion fish!

Night Shark
Locals say you shouldn't swim in the sea at night, Neil and his team set out to understand why. They perform a surgical procedure to implant an acoustic tag in the abdomen of a juvenile shark in a bid to reveal how often these animals return close to Bermuda’s shores at night.

Humpback Whale
Neil works with a team of scientists and marine mammal toxicologists on an expedition to prove the presence of deadly toxins inside Bermuda’s mid migratory humpback whales. They collect biopsy samples from 50 ton humpbacks using an adapted compound bow. The team also deploy their aerial drone to observe a mother humpback and calf, and Choy has a dangerous encounter when he receives a report of a dead sperm whale being torn to shreds by hungry sharks.

Sargassum Seaweed
Neil and Choy discover the heart of the sargassum community and work alongside veteran aquarium collector Chris Flook to reveal how crucial the sargassum seaweed is to the health of the entire ocean. The team explores the deep sea structure of Argus towers and inshore mangrove bays, building a bigger picture of how the intricate and delicate food web of the sargasso sea works. Follow the team as they collect samples for an exhibit that will educate local school children on the unique species and tiny life that lives within these golden rain forests of the ocean.

Diaries
The final episode of Ocean Vet provides a fascinating insight into the making of this groundbreaking series. The crew looks back and reveal their favourite moments and close calls. Michael Douglas finally reveals the tragic death of Neil Burnie from a freak diving accident one week after filming completed, and the crew discuss the impact that the unique and powerful force of nature that was Neil Burnie had on their lives.