Sea Otters were once abundant from Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula all the
way to Baja California, Mexico. High demand for their fur coats led to
intense hunting that reduced their numbers to near-extinction levels
otter population is now coming back, thanks to the Endangered Species
Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which provided refuge for the
few remaining individual otters. But their return brings the potential
for drastic change and conflict to the modern-day economics and ecology
of Southern California.
For more than a decade, sea otters were
exiled from their historic home range in Southern California, out of
fear by fishermen that their return would deplete the profitable
shellfish industry. The entire southern coast of California – from Pt.
Conception, north of Santa Barbara, to the Mexico border – was
established as a No Otter Zone.
The film presents the
history and conflict over the otters, and illustrates the critical
choice that must be made: whether to continue to protect some fisheries
with a no otter zone, or allow this historic predator to repopulate
throughout its natural range. The battle continues today in court.
FEATURED IN THE FILM:
Lilian Carswell, Southern Sea Otter Recovery Coordinator, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Steve Rebuck, Commercial Abalone Divers of California
Steve Shimek, Founder, The Otter Project
Rick Rosenthal, Marine Biologist
Michael Harrington, Executive Committee, California Abalone Association
Reviews & Awards"Highly Recommended. Interviews with marine biologists and fishing industry representatives tell both sides of the story."
–Educational Media Reviews Online
“Looks at both sides of the issue whether otters should be allowed to populate the local waters around the Channel Islands where abalone and sea urchins have thrived since otters were removed.”
– Ojai Film Festival
Ojai Film Festival
Colorado Environmental Film Festival
Vail Film Festival
Catalina Film Festival