“Entangled in Costa Rica” A Documentary about whales rescue

“Entangled in Costa Rica” A Documentary about whales rescue

Author: Laura Vanopdenbosch

It is not unusual for residents on the South Pacific side of Costa Rica to witness humpback whales swimming along the coast with their newborn calves during migratory whale seasons. For anyone, being able to rescue a female whale and her calf’s life is a once in a lifetime encounter. Innoceana, in association with filmmakers The Vegan Pirates, produced a short documentary “Entangled in Costa Rica.” 

It tells the incredible story of freeing two whales being trapped in fishing lines off of the Central Pacific coast by a group of ocean lovers who were in the right place at the right time. Our documentary explores how everyone can come together to facilitate positive change when faced with unforeseen circumstances.

“Entangled in Costa Rica” A Documentary about whales rescue

In July of 2019, Innoceana found themselves springing into action to help two giant humpback whales entangled in fishing lines. Carlos, Laura, and Yulian picked up a call in the middle of the day about two humpback whales that were spotted struggling off the coast. The local community knows Innoceana for dedicating our organization to projects specialized in marine conservation.

Whale rescuing was not one of those specialties, but that didn’t stop us from dropping everything to answer this momentous call of duty. The dive center, Drake Divers, mobilized the rescue mission with fellow conservationists, local divers, and a former fisherman. Everyone jumped into their boat headed towards the trapped whales with nothing more than a machete and kitchen knives to release them from the thick abandoned gear wrapped around their entire bodies.

After a five hour effort in the water, the team was able to remove all of the lines and witness the pair of whales swim off looking healthy and excited as if trying to show us they were grateful. A year later, we were lucky enough to meet The Vegan Pirates. They edited the footage and conducted interviews with everyone that took part in the rescue to create this incredible documentary.

“Entangled in Costa Rica” A Documentary about whales rescue

Humpback whales live throughout the world’s major oceans. They travel incredible distances every year and have one of the longest migrations of any mammal on the planet. The Central American population breeds in the Pacific along the coasts of Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Their voyage from the Antarctic to Central America spans from July through October and covers more than 10,000 km. 

That time of year is critical for these endangered giants to find suitable conditions to reproduce and raise their young, and sadly, they encounter many difficulties on their journey. We could respond to this event with a positive outcome. However, not all marine animals are so fortunate and still face threats from abandoned fishing lines, fishing nets, plastic pollution, and habitat impacts. 

We are excited to share this documentary with the public through a campaign we will launch in early 2021. Stay up to date with the latest release information by following us on our social media channels. 

After watching this documentary, our hope is that our audience will be inspired to be part of the solution to protect all marine life and support organizations, raising awareness of these critical issues. Through the campaign, we will petition to prohibit fishing practices during the migration period to eliminate the risk of entanglement and create specially trained rescue squads equipped with the proper tools in a kit in future cases of emergency with marine animals in distress.

The trailer for the documentary can be found HERE ——>  Entangled in Costa Rica Trailer

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