Fish prices have risen dramatically
Filmmaker: Jordan Plotsky

The Titan community of Papua New Guinea is a remarkable group of people. For hundreds of years, they have fished the ancient coral reefs in harmony with the sensitive ecosystem of the waters around them.

The Titan people are used to being at one with nature. They balance their own needs to eat enough fresh fish to survive with the needs of the fish stocks to replenish themselves naturally.

But the global price of fish has risen dramatically over the years, and the prize for over-fishing can often seem too good an opportunity to miss out on.

Narrated in first-person by Marisiale Siale Tunoka, a native of the Pere village, this film shows the modern world's get rich-quick philosophy taking its toll on this small South Pacific island.

"There is a new Pere now," Tunoka says, "Its new ways are different from the old ways. But one thing that hasn't changed is our dependence on the sea. It still provides everything for us.

"Now there is a new opportunity for us to make lots of money. The global hunger for fish brings international companies to our reefs.

Earning a living - but at what cost?
"These fish companies must get our permission to be here. They also need us to catch our fish for them. They promise us big money."

There is just one problem - the Titans must catch more fish than they have ever done before. Their efforts to earn a living may be having a far greater long-term cost. Data from The Nature Conservancy shows that fish numbers are down, and now many of the villagers are worried.

Are the Titans set to self-destruct as they echo the tragic end of the mythical gods who share their name?

This episode of Witness is scheduled to air on Thursday February 21st 2008.

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