Ascension : Planet Earth Focuses on Ascension Submitted by The Islander (Nathan Prince) 18.05.2006 (Article Archived on 01.06.2006)
For the past few weeks a BBC film crew has been on Ascension, filming for the prestige wildlife documentary series Planet Earth.
The main reason for the trip has been to collect footage of the marine life found around the Island for a forthcoming episode on seamounts.Deep under our oceans, colossal mountains rise up to thousands of metres from the seafloor, their peaks still far beneath the surface.These underwater mountains are oases of life as nutrient-rich currents swirl around their slopes feeding hundreds of thousands of species.Occasionally these peaks rise above sea level to form volcanic islands such as Ascension
Sequences filmed around Ascension include footage of Whale Sharks around BoatswainBirdIsland and groups of Green Turtles rebreathing on sand flats north of EnglishBay.Also filmed were large underwater archways formed from lava and areas of what appeared to be black coral.High densities of Squirrelfish and Jacks were encountered, with Cunningfish seen providing a cleaning service for the Black Jack.Interactive behaviour was also observed between Moray Eels and Grouper, which were seen feeding together.
Whilst here, the BBC crew also took the opportunity to film on Boatswain Bird Island to demonstrate how seamounts that rise above the surface can provide important breeding locations for seabirds.All of Ascension’s eleven resident seabird species are found on BoatswainBirdIsland including the Ascension Frigatebird, which is found nowhere else in the world.
The episode on seamounts will form one of five programmes making up the second part of the Planet Earth series, which is due to be aired in the UK in October and will hopefully be shown here soon after.The first part of the series is currently being shown on BFBS1 (Wednesdays at ).