The Sea of Whales
A Short Film on Community-Based Conservation Coming Spring 2020
The creation of the Bahía de Loreto National Marine Park, near Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico, is a success story of concerned citizens working together to have a significant, long-lasting impact on local conservation efforts.
Prior to the formation of the park in 1996, commercial fishing had a devastating impact on the ecosystems in the Sea of Cortez, nestled between mainland Mexico and the Baja Peninsula. The region is home to over 6000 recorded animal species and contains some of the most biodiverse waters on the planet. The Sea of Cortez also holds important winter breeding grounds for several species of whales, including Blue, Fin, Sperm, Humpback, and Bryde’s whales, as well as dolphins, sharks, manta rays, and numerous other species of plant and animal.
Fernando Arcas was originally involved in the formation of the national park and to this day continues to operate a non-profit organization, the Grupo Ecologista Antares, in the town of Loreto. He and other locals recognized early on the threats of large fishing vessels to the delicate ecosystem of the bay, and Fernando was instrumental in organizing the grassroots, citizen-led effort to protect the waters and islands off the coast of Loreto.
Today, Fernando runs sustainable, educational whale-watching tours and a small museum in Loreto, and continues his commitment to the conservation of the beautiful, rugged region's land, sea, and species. From the moment of our chance meeting with Fernando, we knew his story needed to be told. Few people are as passionate, dedicated, experienced, or authentic as Fernando, and this project seeks to tell the story of the formation of the Bahía de Loreto National Marine Park - and the community that made it happen - through his eyes.
The Sea of Whales is a short form (18-20 minute) documentary with interview driven narration shot in and around Loreto, created to showcase the impact individuals can have on wildlife conservation and inspire people around the world to take action in their own communities.
Tim & Lucy are a husband and wife team who first met Fernando while travelling through Loreto in 2015. At the time, Lucy was a graduate student at the University of Calgary working on a conservation project in the Alberta prairies and Tim was a videographer and drone pilot. They quickly realized how important Fernando's story was and, with limited time and equipment, captured the footage and short interviews on this page.
Now, 5 years later, Tim and Lucy will be returning to Loreto armed with better equipment, more time, and a clear goal of getting this important and inspirational message out to the world.