The blue whale is the largest animal to have ever existed on Earth. In the early 20th century, humans killed almost 99.9% of their population. An estimated 10,000 blue whales roam our oceans, and today, large ships cross blue whale feeding grounds, often colliding with the whales as they move goods around the world. Ship traffic tripled between 1992-2012, and while international trade continues to grow, left unchecked, ship strikes will decimate the blue whales’ already low number.
Michael Fishbach became an environmental activist and whale conservationist over 25 years ago when he had the opportunity to study whales in Quebec and developed a passion for the amazing species. He is currently lobbying to amend shipping lanes in Chile, Sri Lanka, and Southern California to make small changes in their shipping patterns to move away from blue whale feeding grounds and greatly decrease the risk of ships striking whales and killing them. If successful, Michael’s work will serve as a model for other global retailers and governments – and lead to uninterrupted whale feeding, mating, and migration. We’ll see the handshakes, the boardroom presentations, and the unending optimism Michael posses. We’ll also see blue whales, their mouths fill with living-room-sized gulps of sea water from a drone, and look into their sentient eyes through underwater cinematography.
Our oceans cover 70% of the world’s surface. They are responsible for 50% of the oxygen on Earth and the rains that water our crops and forests. Whales are not only an integral species in maintaining a healthy ecosystem, but they are also creatures that inhabit mythical places in our culture and history. This story seeks to not only to educate the public about a specific issue, but also evoke empathy and stir hope in a human story about activism and passion. “The Great Whale” portrays a regular man pushed to activism from his passion for the blue whale and his dreams for the world his children will inherit.
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