Applaud Sea Turtle Documentary Filmmakers

Target: Documentary film students and teachers at Pace University

Goal: Thank filmmakers for bringing awareness to endangered sea turtles in Mexico

Students from New York City’s Pace University recently completed a documentary film entitled “Viva La Tortuga” about the struggle between giant sea turtles and fishermen. According to environmental news source Mother Nature Network, the short film spotlights one Mexican environmental protection group, Grupo Tortuguero, whose goal it is to save sea turtle from death and capture in Magdalena Bay on the Baja Peninsula. Specifically, the group brainstorms and introduces alternate sources of revenue for the area’s fishermen.

Maria Luskay and Andrew Revkin, professors of Pace’s documentary film courses, are partially to thank for this powerful new piece. According to Revkin, who is also an environmental blogger for the New York Times, each film has sustainability at its core, combined with bold new economic ideas. Students in the classes are both graduates and undergraduates of various academic and cultural backgrounds.

Contemporary with the release of the film, the Mexican government admitted that the increased disappearance of the endangered loggerhead turtle is due largely to overzealous fishing tactics. Students feel as though the release of their film was astutely timed with this major admission. Luskay, Revkin, and their students deserve praise for bringing awareness to the issue of endangered sea turtles in Mexico, and especially for highlighting income solutions for those fishermen who otherwise depend on the turtle catch. Those interested in the group’s work can visit their social media sites, including a blog, as well as Facebook and Twitter accounts. The film “Viva La Tortuga” can be seen on YouTube. Praise these students and instructors for their filmmaking efforts.


Dear Pace University Documentary Filmmakers,

You recently released your film “Viva La Tortuga!” about endangered sea turtles in Magdalena Bay on the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. The film release was well-timed, as the Mexican government simultaneously admitted that endangered loggerhead turtles are dying more frequently thanks to fishing gillnets. The increased media focus on sea turtles will surely bring the public eye to an issue that needs immediate attention if these creature are to remain safe.

Perhaps most compelling about your story is the inclusion of ideas for alternative economic income for fishermen. In communities that have depended on fishing for generations, these fresh ideas must seem both profound and bold. I thank you for bringing attention not only to the plight of sea turtles, but also to the fiscal adaptation of fishing communities wishing to preserve the turtles and their livelihood.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Max Smith via Wikimedia Commons

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