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STRP to Premiere New Leatherback Documentary

Celebrate World Environment Day in NYC
To celebrate UN Environmental Programme World Environment Day, “Wanted Seas and Oceans Dead or Alive” a coalition of marine conservation organizations will sponsor a free documentary film screening and panel discussion about endangered leatherback sea turtles and marine mammals at the American Museum of Natural History’s Linder Theatre at Central Park West at 79th Street, New York City Saturday, June 5 from 2:00-4:30.

Two documentary films, the “Last Journey of the Leatherback?” (East Coast premiere) and “Deadly Sounds in the Silent World” (2004), a documentary about the impact of Low Frequency Active Sonar on Marine Mammals, will be screened. The screenings will be followed by a panel discussion including NYU professor Howard Schiffman about how the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which will meet June 7-11, can address the plight of endangered leatherback sea turtles and marine mammals. Members of STRP, Ocean Mammal Institute, and the European Coalition for Silent Oceans will also speak. This screening is co-sponsored by the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, Ocean Mammal Institute, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, the American Museum of Natural History, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, European Coalition for Silent Oceans, Global Response and Conservation International.

About the films:

The Last Journey for the Leatherback?
(Dir. Stanley M. Minasian in conjunction with Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Center for Biological Diversity, Beta SP, 30 min., 2004)

Scientists predict that the giant Pacific leatherback sea turtle, which has survived unchanged for over 100 million years, could vanish in the next 5 to 30 years, if current threats from wasteful industrial fishing are not curtailed. The leatherback is the largest sea turtle, measuring nine feet from head to tail with the largest ever recorded tipping the scales at 2,000 lbs.

The Last Journey for the Leatherback? documents the incredible life of the leatherbacks – the largest species of sea turtle — which can dive as deep as the whales and migrate across entire ocean basins. Much of the story is told through interviews with leading marine scientists, including Dr. Sylvia Earle, explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society and named Time magazine’s first “hero for the planet.”

The Last Journey for the Leatherback? also details the threat industrial fishing poses to their survival. Every year, industrial fishing boats set billions of baited “longline” hooks and millions of miles of nets to catch swordfish and tuna. These hooks and nets are prime causes in the decline of the leatherbacks.

Deadly Sounds in the Silent World (Dir. Jeff Pantukhoff, DVD, 10 min., 2003)

Most people are unaware of the threat to our ocean ecosystem created by human-generated noise in our oceans. Extremely powerful active sonar systems developed by the US Navy to detect super-silent submarines are needlessly injuring, deafening, and killing marine life. The solution: the Navy has developed passive sonar systems that detect these submarines with no harm to marine life. Distributed to Congress, this film calls on Congress and the Navy to do the right thing: to fulfill its mission for national security while being stewards of the seas.

—”Best Short Film of the Year” at the 2003 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.

Selected underwater video images of singing humpback whales impacted by shipping noise will also be screened. Images include one competitive pod of 20 whales and a mother/calf pod.

All supporters of ocean conservation are invited to attend.

Download the cover art here.

Download a flyer for the film screening here.

For more information, to co-sponsor the event or volunteer contact:

Sign our petition to the UN at:
http://www.savetheleatherback.com

Sign up for our email action alerts at:
http://www.seaturtles.org/joinlistserv.cfm