Today we also celebrate the 20th Anniversary of our breakthrough film “Gray Magic: The Plight of San Ignacio Lagoon”, featuring Pierce Brosnan and his wife Keely Shaye Smith. The film was presented to the meeting of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Kyoto, Japan and led to a major victory for the lagoon, the local community and our foundation. This film was key in stopping Mitsubishi Corporation from building the world’s largest salt plant at Mexico’s San Ignacio Lagoon – a United Nations World Heritage Site and the last pristine mating and birthing grounds for the California gray whale.
Our two films that we presented to the International Whaling Commission in 2000 and 2002 on the Makah Tribe’s illegal gray whale hunt helped to revoke the Makah’s US permit to hunt gray whales in the Olympic National Marine Sanctuary.
In 2001, our film “Orcas in Crisis” which we presented to the US National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Canadian Department of Fisheries (DFO), played a pivotal role in getting the Southern Resident Orcas, whose population had plummeted nearly 25%, placed on both the US and Canadian endangered species list.
Our next film “Deadly Sounds in the Silent World,” also featuring Pierce and Keely, was winner of “Best Short Film” at the 2003 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and was presented to Congress playing a pivotal role in banning the worldwide deployment of a lethal sonar system called LFA Sonar by the US Navy.
In October 2007, Whaleman created an international media frenzy when our spokespersons, Hayden Panettiere and Isabel Lucas, took part in a peaceful protest in Taiji, Japan where they, along with 4 others, risked arrest and put their lives on the line by paddling out on surfboards in blood filled waters to try protect a pod of captured pilot whales from being slaughtered which exposed this barbaric and needless hunt to the world. Whaleman Founder, Jeff Pantukhoff along with others, filmed the events which went viral and was also later featured in the 2010 Oscar winning documentary “The Cove”.
In 2011, Jeff and Hayden made an impactful return trip to Japan, as part of our “Save the Whales Again!” campaign. Be sure to check out her account and photographs of the emotional trip in her “Dolphin Diary”. Since then, Jeff has returned to Japan on average of 2 times per year as we continue our work to protect and preserve dolphins, whales, and our oceans.
Our next film starring Hayden, “Entangled Whales”, was shown to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 2012 and as a result the International Whaling Commission established the “International Whale Disentanglement Team” which our founder, Jeff Pantukhoff, has been a proud member since it’s inception.
In 2013, Jeff was sent a copy of the film “Blackfish” by director Gabriela Cowperthwaite due to his work with the orcas and his film “Orcas in Crisis”. She told Jeff this was a rough cut and asked him to watch it and make any suggested changes. After watching the film, Jeff, along with several others working with orcas in the wild, told her not to change a scene. The film became a moving force in helping to force Sea World to announce in 2014 it was stopping its orca shows. Jeff also worked with a coalition to pettion California Coastal Commission to get them to ban Sea World’s captive orca breeding program.
In June, 2014, Jeff attended the “Our Ocean 2014” Conference hosted by Secretary Kerry and the US State Department, where Leonardo DiCaprio made international news by pledging $7 million for ocean conservation. Other exciting news from that conference includes President Obama creating the world’s largest marine protected area and several other countries making significant pledges to increasing the size of marine protection zones.
Since then Jeff has attended the other 4 Our Ocean Conferences which are attended by all the countries in the world. In 2015 the Our Ocean Conference was held in Chile, In 2016, the US again, in 2016, Malta and Bali in 2018. These conferences have been among the most important in making in a difference in reducing illegal fishing and overfishing, illegal whaling, in reducing plastic and chemical pollution, and establishing true Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) through out the world.
In addition to the Our Ocean Conferences, Jeff has been attending the International Whaling Commission Meetings since 1999 and his planning to attend this year’s meeting which is in Slovenia in September. Jeff also makes trips to Washington DC as needed to talk with like minded Senators and Congressman to raise awareness to the issues facing dolphins, whales, our oceans and all marine life!
You might be wondering what you can do to help with ocean conservation. Join with us in our continuing programs to help protect dolphins, whales, and porpoises! We’re currently trying to raise $250,000 to fund these efforts. You can help by making a donation of any amount. You can also shop to donate – check out our collection of t-shirts, hats, bumper stickers, eco-friendly water bottles, reusable shopping bags and more in our online shop. We even have exclusive autographed items from Hayden Panettiere! You can also visit our shop to adopt a Taiji dolphin, and help fund our “Save the Taiji Dolphins” program.
Would you like to know what your donation will support? Our four main campaigns are “Save the Whales Again!” to help end whaling, “Save the Taiji Dolphins” to help stop the notorious yearly dolphin hunts, “Stop Deadly Sounds” to help reduce deadly high-intensity underwater noise pollution, and “Save the Orcas” to help protect these magnificent and highly endangered animals in the Pacific Northwest.
We’re also producing public service announcements and films to bring attention to these issues.
Also, in addition to our legislative and public awareness activities, we fund field research projects focused on ocean conservation. For more news about our specific aims, please look at our About Whaleman information.
And don’t miss our “Take Action Now” info for more options on how you can help – we make it easy for you to reach out to President Trump and to your representatives and senators, as well as the Japanese Prime Minister. We also have some simple suggestions for easy everyday actions you can take that will make an impact in the long run.
We do need your continued support so please consider donating today! Be sure to bookmark and check this page frequently to see how we’re doing in reaching this goal. We hope you’ll be a part of our anniversary celebration and help us reach our $250,000 goal helping us to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of The Whaleman Foundation!