[MARMAM] New publication: Documenting the Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale: Policies, Conservation Efforts, and Stakeholders Depicted in 'Entangled' and 'Last of the Right Whales'

Reamer, Marcus mreamer at earth.miami.edu
Wed Jan 24 11:57:15 PST 2024


Dear MarMam Community,

On behalf of my co-authors, we are pleased to share our recent paper titled "Documenting the Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale: Policies, Conservation Efforts, and Stakeholders Depicted in Entangled and Last of the Right Whales. This article was recently published in the Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy. Here is the link to the article<https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13880292.2023.2294590>. If you do not have access to the Journal through your organization, you may contact me directly for a PDF copy.

Abstract: Wildlife documentaries are a form of environmental media widely used in public engagement around sustainability and conservation issues, including biodiversity loss. Two recently released wildlife documentaries, Entangled (2020) and Last of the Right Whales (2021), are the first to tell stories focused on the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale (NARW) through film, despite the species having been imperiled for more than a century and experts sounding the alarm about the population’s decline for decades. While whales are highly regarded worldwide and their conservation has strong public support, the NARW case study is a complicated one due not only to biological and ecological challenges, but also to sociopolitical ones. Without drastic policy actions and changes to industry practices throughout its migratory range, the NARW may disappear within decades, becoming the first great whale species to reach extinction since the industrial whaling era. In this article we address a gap in current environmental media and documentary studies by engaging critically with Entangled and Last of the Right Whales and considering them within the socioecological contexts they showcase and aim to influence. Our findings indicate that these two films share an important environmental problem with their viewers but fail to overcome some important pitfalls that limit the ability of environmental films to achieve collective action and policy change. We use this case study to highlight opportunities and challenges associated with wildlife documentaries more broadly, specifically, their role in biodiversity conservation in the Anthropocene. We conclude with opportunities for future interdisciplinary research and collaborative practice that can help wildlife films to achieve more than accolades for filmmakers and mere general awareness of conservation challenges.

Citation: Reamer, M., Vaughan, H., & Shriver-Rice, M. (2024). Documenting the Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale: Policies, Conservation Efforts, and Stakeholders Depicted in Entangled and Last of the Right Whales. Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy, 26(4), 1–26. https://doi.org/10.1080/13880292.2023.2294590

All my best,

Marcus B. Reamer, MPS, MPA (he/him/his)
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Environmental Science and Policy
Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science
ORCiD<https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4140-0989> | LinkedIn<http://linkedin.com/in/mreamer> | +1 305.496.4555

[cid:c84e8300-9d41-4c32-a7ca-91b37d36597a]<https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13880292.2023.2294590>

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