Souls of the Vermilion Sea
We have a new 30-minute version of our film! In this latest release we explore the crisis that is occurring in the small fishing communities of the upper Gulf of California in Mexico. The black market for the swim bladder of an endangered fish called the totoaba is putting these communities and the surrounding marine ecosystem at risk. One species is threatened with extinction if this illegal totoaba fishing continues – Mexico’s endemic porpoise, the vaquita.
Searching for the Vaquita
Searching for the Vaquita is the first short film in an ongoing series about this critically endangered species, focusing on the Vaquita Survey Mission that took place in the Fall of 2015. See what life was like on board the vaquita survey vessel, Ocean Starr, and hear about the struggle to save this species from top vaquita experts as well as local fisherman.
Although most of our Eyes on Conservation episodes are short videos no more than 10 minutes in length, Souls of the Vermilion Sea will ultimately be a feature-length documentary. We will however, be releasing short, stand-alone videos as a part of Eyes on Conservation throughout the course of our three year production schedule for this project.
If you like what you see and hear – take a look at our new website dedicated to this project at: vaquitafilm.com
We raised the seed money for this film via a successfully funded kickstarter campaign – click the link to check out our campaign page!
About the Film
Vaquita, meaning small cow in Spanish, is the smallest of all cetacean species. It is a porpoise that is endemic to the northern portion of the Gulf of California, and it is currently the most endangered marine mammal on Earth. With less than 100 individuals remaining on the planet, this species is teetering on the brink of extinction. A Vaquita sanctuary was created within their range, however there have been very little to no attempts to protect it.
This is a crisis situation for biologists and conservationists working with this species. With less than 100 individuals in the wild and the population declining at precipitous rate, it is predicted that the vaquita will be extinct in three years unless dramatic action is taken. Our goal with this film is to document this critical stage in the effort to save this species from extinction. We will be releasing short videos about the vaquita along the way, and doing whatever is within our power to assist in the effort to save this species. Ultimately however, our goal is to document this period of extreme crisis through to it’s natural conclusion.
While its certainly possible that it’s too late to save this small porpoise, it is clear that the biologists working with the vaquita have not given up. This will be their story; a story about what it takes to bring a species back from the brink of extinction.
Searching for the Vaquita – the first in our series of short films about the struggle to save the vaquita from extinction.
Listen to our podcast interview with the Director of the film, Sean Bogle:
Listen to a podcast interview with Vaquita expert and NOAA scientist Dr. Barbara Taylor:
Listen to a podcast interview with “Mr. Vaquita” Dr. Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho: