Whale sharks were discovered migrating down the west coast of India – No one knew they occurred there, and indeed this was actually denied by the Indian government. So, Mike Pandy made a shocking film showing the whale sharks being killed and finned by poor local fishermen, risking their lives to make a few (short term) dollars. Shot under extreme conditions and threats from the local mafia, the film took 3 years to complete. Shores of Silence is the first Indian film to focus on a large marine species and it is the first ever documentation of the massacre of whale sharks on the Indian coast.
The film was made in an effort to create awareness and gather support to protect and conserve this species. The aim was to eventually help create policies to ban the whale shark trade in India and find sustainable alternatives for the local fishing community.
This film moved the government of India into bringing in legislation and banning the killing of the Whale Sharks on Indian shores. The Whale Shark was declared protected under the Indian Wildlife Act- 1972, bringing it at par with the Tigers and the Rhino.
This was a landmark move. It was the first marine species to be protected under Indian law.
In November 2002, at the international CITES meet in Chile, Santiago, a negative voting changed into an overwhelming positive after this film was shown to the delegates – bringing global protection of the Whale Shark and giving the largest fish in the world a new lease of life.
The Film has also been greatly successful in bringing about change in the attitude of fisher folk along the Gujarat coast who have now become their guardians.
Panda Award winner at Wildscreen Festival 2000, in Bristol, UK and winner of numerous other national and international awards, including the National Award for Best Science & Adventure Film, Mumbai 2005.
Director/Cameraman: Mike Pandey
Address: C-18, Chirag Enclave, New Delhi – 110048, India
Phone: +91 11 26410684/26216508 Fax: +91 11 26216508
Websites: www.mikepandey.org & www.riverbankstudios.com/doc_shores_of_silence.htm