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AXA and Sky launch documentary exposing risks of ocean acidification and its effects on ecosystems

AXA and Sky Media’s third and final documentary, this time focusing on the human impact on the world’s oceans, will air from Monday 29th April for 12 weeks

While AXA and Sky Media’s first two documentaries focussed on the Future of Driving and Future of Ageing, the final instalment centres on scientists and conservationists’ efforts to save the world’s oceans. Once again, comedian and actor Sue Perkins will host the documentary and meet experts in the field to discuss their work.

One of the experts, Dr Cosima Porteus from the AXA Research Fund, reveals how increasing levels of carbon dioxide is making seawater more acidic, thus affecting fishes’ sense of smell. She argues that as the ocean absorbs around 25% of the atmosphere’s CO2, marine fish will lose around 50% of their sense of smell by 2100 if humans carry on producing it at the current rate.

Fish use smell to find food, find a mate and avoid predators, so any impact on it could directly impact fish stocks and may even wipe out entire species, diminishing global food supplies.

Explorer and ocean advocate Emily Penn also features in the documentary, revealing how 8 million tonnes of plastics being dumped in the ocean each year are being broken down by UV rays to create a toxic “soup” of micro-plastics, which are being digested by fish and entering the food chain

Penn will also be interviewed by Eamonn Holmes TalkRADIO on the 1st May to raise awareness of, and solutions for, the environmental and health impacts of single-use plastic and toxins in the world’s oceans.

In a first for AXA and Sky Media, a member of Sky News will also be featuring in the documentary. Helen-Ann Smith, Economics Producer and one of the founders of Sky Ocean Rescue, discusses how she got involved with saving the oceans and how important it is to focus individuals’ minds on how they can help.

Adverts featuring the documentary will appear across Sky Media’s portfolio of 150 channels, with viewers being able to watch the full film via the red button.

Alongside the documentary, AXA and News UK’s Bridge Studio will create a radio advert exploring the work of the AXA Research Fund featuring Dr Porteus.

“This is one of our most ambitious documentaries, highlighting not only the work of one of the scientists supported by the AXA Research Fund, but also campaigners aiming to stop the devastating impact humans are having on our oceans. The AXA Research Fund supports scientists across the world working to solve problems that affect us all today, as well as in the future. We believe it’s our responsibility to make the future better for all of us, both as individuals and as a global organisation.” [Karen Robson, Head of Marketing Communications, AXA UK]

“AXA has saved the best until last with this final documentary in the series, using engaging content from AXA’s own Research Fund, to shine a light on the key issue of the human impact on our oceans. We are also passionate about making a difference and we’re therefore delighted to be involved in delivering this documentary across our wide portfolio of channels, as well as making the content available anytime via our On-Demand platform.” [Rachel Bristow, Director of Partnerships, Sky Media]

The AXA Research Fund, which provides funding for health, environment, social and economic research, has dedicated EUR 180m since it was launched in 2008.

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