Bold New Documentary Explores Appropriate Rights for Whales and Dolphins

Share Article

An exciting new film from EarthViews Productions boldly presents the case for providing whales and dolphins with legal “personhood” status, a case that takes into consideration their culture, their intelligence and their relationships with humans and with each other.

"The most powerful documentary I have ever seen, including Nova, National Geographic, etc.", says Cetacean Society International director, Bill Rossiter.

“By All Rights is a beautiful piece of work and the most reasoned and compelling argument for animal rights that I have seen,” says George Osterkamp, West Coast Producer for CBS National News. “The photography is extraordinary, and the case for whale and dolphin rights is made calmly and clearly.”

"The most powerful documentary I have ever seen, including Nova, National Geographic, etc.", says Cetacean Society International director, Bill Rossiter.

In By All Rights, narrated by actor and activist Mike Farrell, attorney Steve Wise argues that such a change in legal status would allow lawyers to sue on behalf of these autonomous mammals when they suffer harm from such human activities as the use of sonar, captivity, and ocean pollution.

Philippa Brakes, head of ethics for the globally renowned Whale and Dolphin Conservation, says, “The film is so well pitched – calm, rational, underpinned by science.” Christopher Palmer, director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at American University, says, "The film conveys persuasively an important message that needs to get out to millions of people."

The 58-minute film is available on DVD or for high-definition or standard definition downloads by going to

“Over the years it has become clear that the laws meant to protect whales and dolphins are wholly inadequate because they never take into consideration the well-being of the individual animal, but instead focus on maintaining a viable population", says Stan Minasian, producer and director of the film and founder of EarthViews Productions.

“When I heard about the efforts to establish legal ‘personhood’ for chimpanzees, as well as elephants, it became clear that success in this effort could have dramatic positive consequences for captive and wild whales and dolphins.”

Minasian's films on animal and nature issues have won Emmy Awards, a Genesis Award from the Humane Society of the U.S., and Best-of-Show awards in major film festivals.

EarthViews films have been broadcast on Discovery Channel, Turner Broadcasting Systems, Public Broadcasting Systems, National Geographic TV, Westinghouse Broadcasting Systems, Animal Planet, as well as internationally. His film Where Have All the Dolphins Gone?, broadcast during prime time on Discovery Channel, was instrumental in changing the policies of all three U.S. tuna canneries to accept only tuna not caught by encircling dolphins.

EarthViews also has produced films for or in conjunction with dozens of prestigious wildlife conservation organizations, including Earth Island Institute, National Wildlife Federation, Environmental Defense Fund, The Humane Society of the United States, Friends of Animals, and the Smithsonian Institution.

In By All Rights, viewers hear scientists interpret evidence of culture within whale and dolphin societies, see how researchers prove the rare element of self-recognition in bottlenose dolphins, and watch as witnesses recount observing human-like behaviors in whales and dolphins.

Partially underwritten by The Summerlee Foundation and Friends of Animals, By All Rights features the following dramatic footage: Five sperm whales entangled in a net off Italy are freed by Coast Guard divers, who report how the whales helped with the rescue; common dolphins off South Korea work feverishly to boost a dying herd mate to the surface to breathe; a humpback whale in Hawaiian waters spends hours caressing and mourning a dead herd mate; and dolphins off California join forces to save the life of a surfer attacked by a great white shark. The film also introduces extended sequences of whales and dolphins never before shown in a documentary.

These magnificent creatures are much more than resources to be managed. Are whales and dolphins worthy of legal "personhood" status? By All Rights explores that issue.

For more information, contact     Stan Minasian
                     Phone: 415-775-4636

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Stan Minasian
Visit website