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The Whale in the Living Room: A Wildlife Documentary Maker's Unique View of the Sea

John Ruthven

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Oceans & seas, Popular science, The environment, Environmentalist, conservationist & Green organiza, Conservation of the environment, Pollution & threats to the environment

The Whale in Your Room follows the thrilling adventures of BBC Blue Planet producer, John Ruthven, on a journey of discovery that helped the marine world flow into your living room via the TV.

The Whale in the Living Room follows the thrilling adventures of film-maker, John Ruthven, as he travels the globe, dives into our oceans and passionately recounts his life-affirming experiences.

What creatures could remain undiscovered in the 95 per cent of the seas that have not been thoroughly explored? How vast, really, are our oceans? The surface of Mars and Venus are better known to us than Earth's seabed. Yet to map the world's ocean to even 100-metre blocks of accuracy, something that environmentalists say is essential for its protection, could take another 300 years. Even creatures that are known to us, like the giant squid, have proved too difficult to accurately capture on film.

Quite literally immersed in his subject, John can help readers understand the magnitude of our planet's oceans and why it is so important for us to protect our seas and the creatures that inhabit them. He is the only producer to have worked full-time on both series of Blue Planet, as well as nearly fifty other films about the sea. Through his first-hand experience, John shows us the loneliness of whale calves in the deep blue, the fear of seals as they dodge great white sharks near the coast, or the curiosity of octopus staring back at us through the camera. His book takes us through the blue rings of South Pacific coral atolls, on submarine rides into the abyss with ancient life forms, and up close and personal encounters with singing humpback whales that make you feel the water around you.

The Whale in the Living Room, like the proverbial 'elephant in the room', is also about how, until recently, we have been largely blind to our polluting of the seas. John, for example, explores how plastic 'went wild' in the ocean; tries to understand how we got into this mess; and see if we can ever untangle the oceans from its grip.

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John Ruthven

JOHN RUTHVEN is passionate about engaging everyone through film and all forms of electronic media, to tell great stories about our planet's aquatic life. He started his career as a professionally trained BBC sound engineer, and over the years has written, produced and directed fascinating, award-winning shows for BBC, Discovery, National Geographic, PBS and many other well-known broadcasters. His work on Blue Planet II, for which he produced the episode on the open oceans - 'Big Blue' - moved audiences when it depicted the death of a newborn pilot whale and the heartbreaking sounds of the calf's mother due to our own polluting of the sea with microplastics. Following this segment of the show, the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for the Environment referenced the episode in parliament and commended the programme for bringing this environmental issue to the fore. The Whale in the Living Room is his first book.

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