Skip to content

World Whale Film Festival Spotlight: In the Wake of Giants

This documentary shares the true stories of the dedicated individuals who risk their lives to free entangled humpbacks and other large whales in Hawaiian waters. Ed Lyman, coordinator of the response efforts in Hawaii and featured in the film, will speak about his experiences in responding to at least 80 marine mammal entanglements under NOAA’s Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program. I spoke with Ed recently to get his take on the film and it’s intended impacts.

What inspired you to create your film?

The sanctuary and others that made the film possible wanted to let people know that there was more to whale disentanglement than cutting a 40-ton animal free. It was dangerous; represented the combined efforts of many (e.g. responders that were trained, well-equipped, and had experience); and that a primary goal is to gain information as to reduce the threat in the long-term.

Why do you think it’s important to share your film at the Pacific Whale Foundation World Whale Film Festival specifically?

Outreach and awareness are foundational towards protecting and conserving our natural resources. The Pacific Whale Foundation World Whale Film Festival is one of several excellent opportunities to reach out to the public and make them aware and hopefully engage them towards protecting our natural marine resources.

Have you had any previous experiences with PWF?

As the sanctuary’s Natural Resources Management Specialist and acting Large Whale Entanglement Response Coordinator under NOAA’s Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, I have worked with PWF since 2005. As with many organizations, the sanctuary has partnered with PWF in outreach efforts and resource protection activities. PWF is an important member of the Large Whale Entanglement Response Network coordinated by the sanctuary and has always played an integral role helping monitor and protect the humpback whales in Hawaii (as well as elsewhere).

Why do you think people should come to the film festival?

To learn and better understand an important part of their environment, the sea around them.

Who would enjoy this film festival?

Anyone who wants to know more about the marine environment and the organisms that inhabit it here around the Hawaiian Islands as well as elsewhere, some of the threats and concerns, and what is being done to mitigate those threats.