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Narrations for Billion dollar fish movie


  • Billion Dollar Fish narration 0412 ScienceVision page 1/28

    Billion Dollar Fish

    Directed by Alfred Schwarzenberger

    A production of ScienceVision for Terra Mater 52 00


    Venice the meeting place of the rich and the beautiful. It was from here, and Paris, that

    beluga caviar was sent around the world. By the beginning of the 20th century, caviar had

    become what it is now: the epitome of luxury.


    According to connoisseurs, beluga caviar is the finest of all caviars. The eggs of the

    beluga are larger and not quite as dark as those of the other sturgeons. Beluga caviar is

    the most expensive food you can buy in the world.



    In some extreme cases, beluga caviar was traded for as much as 22,000 dollars per kilo! [Ein Extrembeispiel, da wurden Preise bezahlt zwischen 20.000 und 22.000 Dollar das Kilo!]


    Its eggs may be internationally famous, but the beluga itself prefers to lead a secretive life.

    Because of the huge demand for its valuable eggs, the beluga, and almost the entire

    sturgeon family, are now on the brink of extinction. Ironically, commercial interest in the

    eggs may be the only hope for its survival.


    This is the tragic story of a creature that had no enemies for more than 200 million years!

  • Billion Dollar Fish narration 0412 ScienceVision page 2/28



    This is the first film about Beluga, but maybe the last, this is history!

    01:48 Title Billion Dollar Fish


    When the fishermen on the lower stretches of the Danube put out their huge nets, they are

    out to catch a gigantic creature from prehistoric times.


    The fishermen call him the King of the Danube. They do not whistle while they are in their

    boats. They believe that whistling brings bad luck and drives the fish away.


    Deep in the Danube, a beluga sturgeon swims upstream to its spawning sites. Its

    movements are powerful and leisurely. There is no need to hurry. This is a fish that can live

    for more than 100 years. And who is there to be afraid of? The Beluga can reach a length

    of 8 metres and a weight of more than two tons. It is the worlds largest freshwater fish. Big

    adults dwarf even the great white shark. For instance this beluga sturgeon, caught in the

    Caspian Sea.



    Its head was about this big. I can still see it today! It weighed about 1000kg. It was the

    biggest I ever caught. When the wind was right, we caught many big animals. Most of

    them weighed between 150kg and 200kg, some with caviar, some without. Thats the way

    it was then! [i acuma vd pe el. Cam aa capul era. i atunci cnd btea vntul cam prindeam cam, nainte spunem aa, i 1000 de kile, restul aa cam un sturion 150 pn la 200 cu icrele, far icre masculul i femela, mai att da.]

  • Billion Dollar Fish narration 0412 ScienceVision page 3/28


    Today in Romania the fishermen return empty-handed. After perestroika, there were no

    fishing laws in the former Eastern bloc countries, so there was no-one to supervise. As a

    result, sturgeon stocks dwindled. In 2003, the annual catch of beluga sturgeons had

    plummeted to just 20 tons, compared with 300 tons a year up to the nineteen seventies.


    In the good old days Dementi Cernamorit was the head of a fishing brigade. He and his

    wife Eugenia still remember the golden era of sturgeon fishing. Now Romania and Bulgaria

    have imposed a blanket ban on sturgeon fishing until 2016.



    At the time, up to ten brigades were on the water. Sometimes a single brigade would

    catch 10 tons in one day. There were as many belugas in the river as there are herrings in

    the sea. [10 brigzi cte un vagon, 10 vagoane de moruni. N-am ce discuta. Atta era morun cum scrumbia pe mare. Atunci era morun.]


    If the sturgeon disappears, many questions will remain unanswered forever for scientists

    like Harald Rosenthal.



    In many ways, the fish is still a mystery to us. There is so much we dont know. It has a

    very complex life history [Dieser Fisch ist uns ein Mysterium - wenn man das so scharf ausdrcken will - geblieben, weil seine

    Lebensgeschichte sehr komplex ist.]

  • Billion Dollar Fish narration 0412 ScienceVision page 4/28


    Sturgeons are an evolutionary success story. In the last 200 million years, there has been

    little change to their design. Although they are cartilaginous fish like sharks, they also

    exhibit some features that are typical of bony fish.


    Sturgeons have an exoskeleton, and a kind of extendable trunk.


    Harald Rosenthal is a renowned hydro biologist and fisheries scientist. What allowed the

    sturgeons to out-live the dinosaurs is a question that still puzzles scientists. Maybe the

    answer lies in their genes. With up to 240 chromosomes, sturgeons have great inbuilt

    genetic variety.



    The sturgeon is a very special animal! Scientifically, too. Its physiology, its life history, its

    embryonic development and the entire reproductive strategy are exceptional and therefore

    interesting topics for research. [Der Str ist schon was ganz besonderes! Auch fr die Wissenschaft. Von seiner Physiologie her, von seiner

    Lebensgeschichte her, von seiner embryonalen Entwicklung und von seiner gesamten

    Fortpflanzungsstrategie, und deshalb auch ein reizvolles Forschungsobjekt.]


    Radu Suciu from the Danube Delta National Institute in Romania has dedicated his

    scientific career to these living fossils.



    I love this fish. Its fantastic! They are beautiful, they are special, they are in all the ways

    unique and its not a love at first sight, but its real love!

  • Billion Dollar Fish narration 0412 ScienceVision page 5/28


    The River Danube in Romania is one of the last remaining spawning grounds of the beluga

    sturgeon. When they migrate upstream in autumn to hibernate in the river and gather

    strength for the mating season in spring, the scientists follow in their tracks. For a long

    time, the sturgeons had remained hidden from curious eyes. They prefer to stay in the

    deeper, murky water.


    It takes high-tech equipment such as ultrasonic underwater cameras to locate a beluga.



    They are the most valuable fish actually in the world, and the most difficult to study!


    We see the fish, which is staying in this deep hole. Look the fish, you see it moving? It just

    came down to the bottom. Must have been a sturgeon! And again! You see here? Real

    Action! Its the typical movement of the sturgeon, going to the ground!


    Radus office must be one of the largest in the world: it extends several hundred

    kilometres along the Danube. Trying to understand the behaviour of the beluga sturgeons

    means that he has to explore the riverbed: a place less known than the surface of the




    Most of the information we know about sturgeons, come from dead sturgeons, which were

    already caught! Their behaviour in the river, the behaviour of the live sturgeons is

    fascinating to study. Every year we are excited about discovering one small thing, which

    widens our understanding, widens the possibilities to move forward in conservation!

  • Billion Dollar Fish narration 0412 ScienceVision page 6/28


    Barbed wire, CCTV and dogs guard a place of hope about one hour drive east of



    Robert Radutas fish farm rears 50,000 young belugas. In 15 years, when they are ready

    for spawning, these animals will be worth their weight in gold.



    From 100.000 Belugas which have to be released, surely are going to come back, more

    than 15%. We take only 10%. 10% of 100.000 is 10.000. From those half are females, half

    are males! If the Romanian fishermen catch only again 10% from those 5.000, its gonna

    be 500 females. 5 tons of caviar, multiplied with 5.000 Euro per kilo, which is today from

    the wild, in 15 years is gonna be much higher, is already 25 Millions!


    Romania is the only country on the lower Danube to have introduced a so-called

    supportive stocking programme to help the beluga population recover. Romania wants

    caviar production to become an important contributor to its national economy. Robert

    Raduta runs the only fish farm where belugas are bred for restocking. Every single animal

    is precious, both economically and for the preservation of the species.


    Another 50,000 belugas are to be bred in the coming weeks. A difficult job, and one that

    demands a specialist: Arcadie Vedrasco.

  • Billion Dollar Fish narration 0412 ScienceVision page 7/28



    The best one is Arcadie Vedrasco from Republic Moldova, who has a very big experience.

    I called him, the next day he came, he was excited from the idea, to save the sturgeons

    through restocking programs and we started a partnership which goes for six years




    These animals are a work of art created by nature. If you know that these fish are no

    more stupid than we humans are,