A looming disaster in one of the most spectacular environments on Earth sparks a rescue mission unlike any other in SEA OF SHADOWS, a riveting new documentary with the intensity of a Hollywood thriller from National Geographic Documentary Films and winner of the Sundance audience award.
When Mexican drug cartels and Chinese traffickers join forces to poach the rare totoaba fish in the Sea of Cortez, their deadly methods threaten to destroy virtually all marine life in the region, including the most elusive and endangered whale species on Earth, the vaquita porpoise.
SEA OF SHADOWS follows a team of dedicated scientists, high-tech conservationists, investigative journalists and courageous undercover agents as well as the Mexican Navy as they put their lives on the line to save the last remaining vaquitas and bring the vicious international crime syndicate to justice.
The SEA OF SHADOWS screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the Consul General of Mexico, a porpoise-focused marine scientist, and a fisheries economist, moderated by a marine mammal scientist.
Berenice Diaz Ceballos, Consul General for Mexico (Vancouver)
Berenice Diaz Ceballos has been Consul General for Mexico in Vancouver, Canada since 2016. She has a degree in International Relations, and over 25 years of work experience in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, particularly in bilateral issues (Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa and the Middle East), and multilateral issues in the political, economic, financial, social, environmental, migration, and human rights fields.
Anna Hall, President, Porpoise Preservation Society
Dr. Anna Hall is president of the Porpoise Conservation Society. She has spent 20 years researching the harbour porpoise of British Columbia and has worked on seasonal abundance, diet, strandings, habitat use, behaviour and incidental catch. She also took part in the 2008 international expedition to find the critically endangered vaquita.
Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor, Research Associate, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries
Dr. Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor is Deputy Director of the Ocean Nexus Program and Research Associate at the University of British Columbia. He specializes in applied resource economics and is engaged in research and policy on human development and the Blue Economy, including artisanal and Indigenous fisheries, ecotourism, and emerging ocean sectors in developing and developed regions including Belize, Canada, Central America, East Asia, Mexico, Patagonia, the USA and West Africa. Dr. Cisneros-Montemayor has published over 60 peer-reviewed studies and book chapters, and is an active participant and advisor in international and national ocean policy.
Andrew Trites, Professor, Marine Mammal Research Unit (MMRU), Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries
Dr. Andrew Trites is a Professor and Director of the Marine Mammal Research Unit in the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia. He has been studying marine mammals in the North Pacific for 40 years, and leads a research program designed to further the conservation and understanding of marine mammals, and resolve conflicts between people and marine mammals. He has served on many advisory committees and independent panels that involve marine mammals and species at risk.