Leading documentary photographers and filmmakers Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen and are co-founders of SeaLegacy, a conservation collective of experienced storytellers dedicated to protecting our oceans. This Giving Tuesday, the two Sony Artisans take us on a journey with gray whales to show the importance of conservation and our connection with the ocean. “Nothing prepares you for the moment when one of these whales just pops right next to your boat and wants to be touched,” says Mittermeier. Watch as they join other experts in the Laguna Ojo de Liebre to visit mother and calf gray whales. Give our oceans a brighter Tuesday by donating to SeaLegacy HERE.
This Giving Tuesday, Sony Artisans Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen take us on a journey with gray whales to show the importance of conservation.
“Every single gray whale that we see along the coast of the Pacific was born in this lagoon,” explains Mittermeier. “They’re all Mexican. They come here to mate, they leave, and then they come back here to have their babies here. These mothers teach the gray whales that humans are OK. So you have generation after generation of gray whales learning that boats have people, and people are fun. They want to touch them, they want to spend time with them. They’re super sociable.”
“When a mother and a calf gray whale come directly over to your boat and start to push your boat around,” says Nicklen. “And they start to rise up and you’re looking into their eye, and what they want is a head rub, or a back rub, or a lip rub. You put your cameras down and you instantly have this deep connection with this animal where you’re staring into its eye and just rubbing and feeling the texture of the skin. Having this interaction and a mother and her baby fighting for your affection really just grabs you by the heart. It’s extremely powerful.”
Fishing is not allowed when the whales come, which Ramón Castellanos, a project coordinator at Beta Diversidad, explains in the video. Fishermen like Naman Maciel, who is a captain for Malarrimo Ecotours, have put their efforts and money into whale conservation, and to pay them back it’s important to make socially and environmentally responsible tourism operations to ensure a way of life for those in the community.
“It’s a very good example of how this can be done the right way,” adds Mittermeier.
Give our oceans a brighter Tuesday and donate to SeaLegacy HERE.