Ocean Matters


Our ocean is the earth's defining feature.

But the blue of our blue planet is so much more than just a colour. It is rich with life and plays an important role in keeping our planet stable and healthy. Worryingly, we are seeing our ocean change, for the worse.

In Ocean Matters, join oceanographer and physicist Helen Czerski as she meets the scientists who are working to save our ocean and marine life in one of the most remote parts of our planet.  Together, we’ll explore how the cutting-edge marine science research that’s going on there – and other places we visit - is helping to protect species across the world, and better understand what needs to be done to save our seas.

The Bertarelli Foundation

29 Episodes


12/21/2022 | 24 MINS

Finance – Protecting The Ocean

Ocean Matters is getting down to business. That’s the business of investing in the ocean, its future as well as the communities that rely on it. There are lots of... more

11/01/2022 | 25 MINS

Learning from Indigenous Fisheries

There are several stories in this series which explore the connectivity between species, but how often do we consider the connectivity between a species, people, land and culture? Take the... more

Bizarrely, when it comes to ecology – marine systems and land systems are studied separately. But we need to better understand the “in between”. Travelling from vast rainforests, all the... more

07/06/2022 | 32 MINS

Eels – Are you in the fan club?

The more you find out about eels, the more fascinating they become... Even on the scale of the surprises that nature can throw at us.  The European eel starts its life... more

12/15/2021 | 12 MINS

BONUS – People Power

In episode 12, we heard about the changes our ocean has faced in recent years and why it’s important to remain ‘ocean optimists’ in the fight against climate change. One... more

12/01/2021 | 43 MINS

Witness for a Changing Ocean

Everyone who studies the ocean recognizes that many parts of it are in a state of flux – always changing.  That is the natural state of things.  But sometimes changes... more

With COP26 having been and gone, one thing is clear - we need positive climate action. But while climate change has been edging its way into the public consciousness, scientists,... more

11/03/2021 | 33 MINS

COP26 – Fighting for our Ocean

COP26 is taking place in Glasgow, with the eyes of the world on the decisions being made, and climate change is finally getting the serious attention that scientists and campaigners... more

There’s no doubt that turtles are well-loved animals that have had a huge impact on cultures around the world and throughout history. But there’s a fine line between celebrating a... more

Turtles are survivors, navigators, voyagers: criss-crossing Earth’s seas while continents moved and oceans grew and shrunk.  But the modern ocean is presenting them with more challenges than ever. This month,... more

09/22/2021 | 14 MINS

BONUS - Magnificent Manta Rays

In episode 9, we discovered that plankton is a vital food source for manta rays so producer Izzie Clarke finds out more about these magnificent animals. What are the different... more

It’s often said that small is beautiful, and that’s true in the ocean too. But in the huge blue expanses of our planet, the small aren’t just beautiful – they’re... more

"These crews are typically working 20 hours straight before they have maybe a two hour break" Fishing is having a huge impact on the lives of humans.  Slavery, abduction and... more

For most of us, fish come from a shop. They’re either laid out on ice in their full glory, neatly packaged in cans or hidden away inside fish fingers. An... more

“Some of the most exciting discoveries are still out there.” - Dr Mark Meekan Sharks are incredibly adapted to life in the ocean, but scientists still have so much more... more

07/14/2021 | 29 MINS

Sharks – Masters of the Ocean

Today we know of at least 1,200 species of shark, and we’re still finding more. Sharks are a critical part of life in the ocean. But the numbers don’t lie,... more

In this bonus episode of Ocean Matters, producer Izzie Clarke explores the very first theories of how islands are formed from Charles Darwin and his time on HMS Beagle. Joining... more

The tourist brochures are clear about what we should expect from a remote tropical island: bright blue water, white sand, some exotic shells and the odd coconut tree. But the... more

06/02/2021 | 14 MINS

BONUS - Dr Sylvia Earle

“The ocean found me, in a way…” – Dr Sylvia Earle In this bonus episode of Ocean Matters, host Helen Czerski speaks to explorer, oceanographer, and former Chief Scientist at... more

When we look up at the night sky, we can see the cosmos in all its glory; the constellations are familiar friends that we learn as children.  But even though... more

05/05/2021 | 12 MINS

BONUS – Microplastic Mayhem

“I continue to be surprised at where microplastics are and where they come from” – Dr Imogen Napper In this bonus episode of Ocean Matters, producer Izzie Clarke speaks to... more

04/21/2021 | 29 MINS

Plastic – Our single use problem

So often, the ocean’s problems are invisible, but plastic pollution in the ocean has rocketed up public consciousness in the past few years precisely because it, and the damage it... more

“An important part of looking after the ocean is that you’ve got to look after the seabirds” If we were able to wave a magic wand and remove introduced rats... more

Seabirds are an incredibly versatile group of animals - they roam freely on land, soar majestically through the air and are equally at home underwater. They’re critically important if we... more

“When they spawn, it looks like it's snowing but upside down. It’s very tranquil” – Dr Jamie Craggs In this bonus episode of Ocean Matters, producer Izzie Clarke speaks to... more

Coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.  They’re very special places, covering less than one percent of the seafloor but home to nearly a quarter... more

“I remember finning along the reef, looking in all directions for about 15 minutes and really not seeing any fish at all” – Prof. Heather Koldewey In this bonus episode... more

To quote Maya Angelou, “you can’t really know where you’re going, until you know where you have been.” In this first episode, physicist and oceanographer Helen Czerski, explores our ocean’s... more

12/22/2020 | 1 MINS


Helen Czerski welcomes you to 'Ocean Matters'. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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