Monterey Bay Aquarium Welcomes Live PBS-BBC Broadcasts; Bay's Marine Life Coming to a Global TV Audience This Summer

Bay's Marine Life Coming to a Global TV Audience This Summer

May 06, 2015

BIG BLUE LIVE features "one of the greatest wildlife conservation success stories on the planet” The leaping whales, soaring seabirds and engaging sea otters of Monterey Bay are coming to live television on two continents this summer.

In a new co-production between the world’s leading public service broadcasters, BBC and PBS will present BIG BLUE LIVE in August and September in a live TV and multi-platform event featuring the majestic marine life of Monterey Bay.

BIG BLUE LIVE will be anchored from the open-air studios based at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and aboard National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research ships on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. In each live segment and on social and streaming platforms viewers will see one of nature’s great reality shows through state-of-the-art filming technology, and with live reports from the air, sea and below the waves.

BIG BLUE LIVE will air on PBS over three nights, Aug. 31-Sept. 2 from 8 to 9 p.m. ET, with a second live feed to the West Coast from 8 to 9 p.m. PT. The BBC segments, aired on BBC One, will be broadcast live in the UK in August.

“This is a remarkable opportunity to share with the world the incredible diversity of life in Monterey Bay,” said aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard. “It’s also a chance to highlight what happens when there’s a concerted public effort to protect the habitats and species that support healthy ocean ecosystems.”

“California and the United States have long been leaders in ocean conservation,” she added. “Through BIG BLUE LIVE, millions of people will be able to see the results.”


“Monterey Bay is a very special place that attracts animals from the four corners of the Pacific,” he said. “It’s a wildlife spectacle unique in the world. Most of the animals recently made a miraculous recovery. Few people thought they’d recover at all, let alone in the numbers you find here. And, all of this is happening between San Francisco and Los Angeles – two of the largest cities in the world.”BIG BLUE LIVE was inspired by the dramatic recovery of ocean wildlife in the bay, which BBC series producer Adam White calls “one of the greatest wildlife conservation success stories on the planet.”

“If it can work here, it should inspire the rest of the world to take care of their ocean,” he said.

“PBS continues to break new ground in science and nature programming with BIG BLUE LIVE,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “Through TV and other PBS platforms, viewers can experience and participate in the drama of the ultimate reality show as it unfolds in the natural world.”

When it opened in 1984, Monterey Bay Aquarium was the first major public aquarium whose exhibits focused primarily on the marine life of its home region. It has become the world’s most respected aquarium, and a global ocean conservation leader.

Public awareness of the richness of Monterey Bay marine life, fostered through the aquarium’s living exhibits, sparked the designation in 1992 of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary – the largest sanctuary in the continental United States.

The aquarium also championed creation of a comprehensive network of marine protected areas along the California coast – the largest such network in the United States. Through its conservation and science programs, the aquarium works with world-class research and conservation partners to advance science-based solutions to assure a future with healthy oceans.

From Monterey Bay to the global ocean, the aquarium is helping transform the global seafood market in more sustainable directions, studying apex predators like sea otters, tunas and sharks, and advancing policies to improve the long-term sustainability of ocean ecosystems and wildlife.

The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the oceans.

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The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean.