Saving the North Atlantic Right Whale - North Americadon't fail our whale
Since the very beginning, IFAW has always understood and appreciated the power of film to move an audience. In our early days, founder Brian Davies used his camera to both capture the beauty and magic of the harp seal nursery, and to document the cruelty of the east coast commercial seal hunt that he sought to end. Forty years later, our efforts to use the power of film to protect seals resulted in the documentary "Huntwatch."
And years later in 2016, IFAW co-produced the Emmy award-winning documentary "Sonic Sea," which powerfully chronicled how ocean noise pollution from shipping, industrial activities, and military sonar are threatening marine animals and their underwater habitat.
Now, IFAW is excited to share with you another compelling film, "The Last of the Right Whales."
Directed by award-winning filmmaker Nadine Pequeneza, this powerful documentary features a remarkable group of marine biologists, whale rescuers, crab fishers and wildlife photographers, including Charles “Stormy” Mayo, Moira Brown, Kim Davies, Martin Noel, Nick Hawkins and Barbara Zoodsma. "The Last of the Right Whales" recently took the prize of “Best Canadian Feature” at the 2021 Planet in Focus International Documentary Environmental Film Festival.
With breathtaking footage of this rarely-seen species, you will go behind the scenes and meet biologists, rescuers, fishermen, and photographers—doing everything they can to save this iconic species from extinction.
After centuries of overhunting primarily for their blubber, today, North Atlantic right whales are killed primarily due to two main causes: entanglement in fishing gear and vessel collisions. Only an estimated 336 North Atlantic right whales are left in the world today, a steep decline since 2020. This species is the planet’s most endangered great whale—and their migratory route between Canada and the United States makes it OUR responsibility to save them.
But there is hope. There is evidence that North Atlantic right whales can recover, but only if we stop killing them. They are a long-lived species where females can reproduce for at least 40 years. With eight births so far this season—the whales are doing their part to survive. It is now time for us to do ours.
This award-winning documentary has brought together conservation organizations across Canada and the U.S. including IFAW, The Canadian Wildlife Federation, the Canadian Whale Institute, and others. We need all hands on deck—working together—to save this magnificent species from extinction. We are excited to announce that "The Last of the Right Whales" will be premiering at select theatres in Canada starting February 18. Several of these events will be followed by a live Q&A panel with the filmmakers and right whale experts, including those from IFAW.
The impact of "The Last of the Right Whales" will remain with you long after the credits have rolled. We cannot wait for you to experience it!
Together let us save this iconic species and put it back onto a path of recovery.