killer whales: fins of change

In this extensive documentary, the fast-changing world of the Arctic is explored as never before.

programme information


1 x 60'

Production Company

A Terra Mater Factual Studios/Brian Leith Productions Ltd. production in co-production with Thirteen WNET/New York and NDR Naturfilm Doclights GmbH






Science Film Festival 2015 (Thailand/Germany): Ökofilmpreis
New York Festivals 2015 (New York, USA): Gold World Medal (Category: Environment & Ecology)
New York Wild Film Festival 2015 (New York, USA): Best Wildlife Film

Episode Information

A remarkable story is unfolding in the Arctic. As the ice melts and the polar bear struggles to survive in a fast-warming world, another animal is moving into the northern regions of the planet – and it is starting to usurp the polar bear’s dominant role. Welcome the new top predator of the Arctic: the killer whale. In the last 50 years – and at an apparently accelerating rate – one third of the Arctic ice cap has melted, and more and more open sea is revealed in the summer months. The polar bear’s home ground is vanishing from under its feet. Meanwhile, scientists have started noting an ever-growing number of orcas in previously inaccessible Arctic waters during the summer months. And they are attacking not only narwhal, belugas and bowhead whales, but also seals – the preferred prey of polar bears. As the polar bear’s world is shrinking, the orca’s world is growing. These changes in environment have also been noticed first-hand by the local Inuit, who are key players in this story. The introduction of a new aquatic predator impacts their own hunting opportunities. In this extensive documentary, the fast-changing world of the Arctic will be explored as never before.

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