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WHY BLAME THE SEAGULLS ?
An extraordinary 35 mins film about the vicious attacks on Southern Right whales from Kelp Seagulls at UNESCO's heritage site, Peninsula Valdés, Argentine Patagonia.
Peninsula Valdés is a significantly important coastal habitat for marine wildlife. It is home to the southern right whale, the majestic animal that once helped to develop the city and expand tourism. Today, it is a direct victim of this success.
Mum-calf pairings are suffering the alarming effects of relentless attacks from seagulls. The film investigates the cause of this threat, the impact it is having on the species and what is being done to resolve the issue.
Filmed almost entirely in Península Valdés, Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina, and featuring the presence of renowned Argentine scientists, "Why Blame the Seagulls?" is a short film addressing the issue of attacks by kelp gulls on southern right whales in Argentine waters when they come to give birth and reproduce. This unique case, only found in this part of the world originated from the mismanagement of fishing waste and urban waste in the Península Valdés and Puerto Madryn areas. It's an incredible case that the world is unaware of and in Argentina, it is not widely discussed. The government's last attempt to control the situation was many years ago, and meanwhile, the gulls continue to multiply, with 100% of whale mothers and calves currently being attacked. Southern right whales are still recovering after centuries of human hunting. While traversing the oceans, they still face collisions with ships, entanglement in fishing nets, water pollution, presence of plastics, noise pollution, and the impacts of climate change affecting their main feeding areas. Despite these challenges, they reach the calm waters of Peninsula Valdés where they sustain injuries, causing high levels of stress (measured with cortisol tests). The resting and nursing time has decreased by 30% (resulting in weaker calves), and calf mortality has also increased. The quality of life of the southern right whale, a global conservation emblem, is at stake. It is likely to be one of the most dramatic cases affecting any type of large whale worldwide.
Director and Producer: PHILIP HAMILTON
Music: ARMAND AMAR
Development Producer: ROMINA BOTTAZZI
Editing and Colour: STEFANO ULIVI
Script: PHILIP HAMILTON
Graphic Design: XAIME BEIRO
Narrator: JULIAN POULTER
With the participation of: Claudio Campagna, Conservation Scientist Diego Taboada, President of the Whale Conservation Institute, Argentina Juan Maria Raggio, President of Aves Argentinas Marcelo Bertellotti, Researcher at CESIMAR-CONICET Stephanie Stefanski, Dr. Environmental Economist Miguel Bottazzi & Romina Bottazzi, Whale Watching Captains, Avistajes Bottazzi Emilia Attias, Actress, Model, and Television Presenter Miguel & Romina Bottazzi, Bottazzi Whale Watching. Eliana Lorenti, PhD in Natural Sciences from the National University of La Plata, CONICET and the collaboration of local NGO Protejamos Patagonia.