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BBC to feature Bermuda’s thumb-sized predators

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Sargassum fish

Bermuda’s humble sargassum fish is to be thrust into the limelight as the star of a sequence in The Blue Planet series narrated by David Attenborough.

The British Broadcasting Corporation sent three members of crew to the Island in 2013 when they spent one month filming the thumb-sized predators using filming technology so advanced it was not even available on the commercial market at the time.

Producer Hugh Pearson, director of photography Doug Anderson and digital technician John Chambers, veterans of the Africa and Frozen series, accompanied a crew of Bermudians during their visit including LookBermuda’s Jean-Pierre Rouja who led the expedition as on-Island producer and “fish wrangler”.

Bermudians Harold Conyers, Chris Burville and Peter Flook were part of the operation acting as skippers and crew.

The footage will form a sequence in The Blue Planet sub-series titled The Hunt which Mr Rouja said includes “lions in Africa, dangerous spiders and our mighty sargassum fish”.

He said: “Pound for pound the sargassum fish is an absolutely incredible predator it will swallow creatures larger than itself and it has a voracious appetite. It is like a combination between a pit bull and an anaconda. It is under two inches long but they will eat anything including each other.”

Speaking of the high-tech equipment used to film the sequence, Mr Rouja added: “What is really great about BBC’s natural history coverage is that they are one of the last true production companies putting the time and budgets in to this type of project.

“They showed up with probably a million dollars worth of gear and their goal was to produce three to five minutes of footage. That is typical for the whole series.

“The series take three to five years to make and they have multiple crews going around the world so when you see a five-minute sequence, at least a month’s worth of work has gone into it.

“This was two years ago and they were shooting 4k raw underwater which was unheard of at the time — the brand new Sony cameras had not even been released yet.

“The big deal is the time and effort they put into securing this footage — it is unparalleled.”

The episode is due to air tomorrow on BBC1 and it will soon become available online through BBC iPlayer.

Links will also be uploaded to www.nonsuchisland.com

Blue Planet producer Hugh Pearson, Look Bermuda’s Jean-Pierre Rouja, director of photographer Doug Anderson and digital technician John Chambers.