National Geographic Films has acquired the worldwide rights to “Sea of Shadows,” an award-winning Sundance documentary executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. The documentary premiered on Jan. 27 at the Sundance Film Festival and played and won the Audience Award for a documentary from the festival. “Sea of Shadows” examines an environmental crisis formed as a result of actions by Mexican drug cartels and the Chinese mafia. The film looks at the Sea of Cortez, which is collapsing as a result of the hunting of a valuable fish called totoaba that drug cartels have dubbed the “cocaine of the sea.” The documentary claims that cartels are destroying the ecosystem with illegal gill nets in search of the fish and are endangering the world’s smallest whale, known as the vaquita. The totoaba are being poached at an alarming rate for their bladders, which are more valuable per ounce than gold on the black market in China because of a superstitious belief that their bladders possess miraculous healing powers.
Photo Credit: Sea of Shadows via YouTube screenshot