The videographer and marine biologist, Daniel Opitz, films humpback whales off the coast of Hawaii and researches their songs. Humpback whales produce the biggest variety of vocal expressions. Their songs belong to the most multifaceted animal sounds known and are produced mainly by male species under water. Opitz shows us how people help the whales and meets scientists, environmental activists and politicians.
For decades, whales have been triggering diplomatic entanglements at the highest level. Irreconcilable, conservationists and whalers are still at each other’s throats. For some, they are a commodity like any other – while the others perceive them as highly intelligent animals, worthy of protection, ambassadors of a habitat, about which we, even today, know so little.
The intensive hunting of the marine mammals during the 19th and 20th centuries led to the near extinction of several species of whale. Despite the fact that stocks are only slowly recovering since the 1986 international whaling moratorium, year for year the quotas for whalers continues to rise, who – with or with-out a special permit – simply flout the treaty.