Coelacanth movie filmed in E Cape

2011-10-21 09:25
East London - A documentary on the world-famous coelacanth, which is to be aired by National Geographic in 2012, is being filmed in East London, according to a report on Friday.

The film crew, headed by Ben Hewitt from the US, is hoping to capture underwater footage of a coelacanth colony thought to be living at a depth of 100m off the east coast of Africa, the Dispatch Online reported.

"I have been wanting to tell this story for a long time and we eventually got the go-ahead from National Geographic," Hewitt was quoted as saying.

"We are going to follow the entire history of the coelacanth from its first discovery to its later reappearance."

A coelacanth is a prehistoric fish that was once thought to be extinct for 70 million years until one was caught by a trawler fishing off the Chalumna River mouth in 1938.

The documentary would feature re-enactments at the East London Museum and would include modern day scuba diving expeditions in Tanzania and Sodwana Bay near KwaZulu-Natal.

The filming of the documentary started in May. Hewitt said he hoped that the one-hour special would be wrapped up by March next year.

According to the report, almost 300 sightings of coelacanths, which are pale blue with iridescent white markings and a skeletal structure, have been recorded around the world since the East London discovery.

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