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If Only

A collaboration with artist Shreyans Zaveri, OPS’ If Only campaign envisions a world where every whale life matters, humans learn from the mistakes of the past, and commercial whaling in Iceland—and everywhere—is a thing of the past.

Through beautiful and compelling imagery, If Only invites our limitless imagination and hopeful possibilities that can arise from a world that values whales, for their own sake, and ours.

Inspiring action through art and imagery is at the very core of OPS and everything that we do, from our documentary films to our global projection events and impact campaigns.

Unfortunately, commercial whaling still exists in our modern world.  Shockingly, more than a thousand whales are killed annually in the primary whaling nations of Iceland, Norway, and Japan, and over 40,000 whales have been killed since the global ban on whaling took effect in 1986. This summer, Iceland killed 148 fin whales.

As if hunting were not enough, whales face a gauntlet of human-generated threats that also endanger their ocean homes, including climate change, commercial fisheries, marine debris and other forms of pollution, and oil and gas exploration—pushing some populations to the brink. 

While we oppose whale and dolphin hunts wherever they occur, we have a chance to end whaling in Iceland. The Icelandic Minister of Fisheries, Food and Agriculture has signaled that she is reconsidering the issuance of quotas for hunting fin and minke whales.

Current quotas expire at the end of 2023, and Icelandic authorities will be considering whether whaling will continue in 2024 and beyond.

Recent opinion polls suggest that public support for whaling in Iceland is waning, and over 64% of Icelanders feel that whaling is bad for the country’s reputation.

As a country, Iceland prides itself as being one of the most modern, innovative, and sustainable countries on the planet, and yet continues with an archaic and cruel practice that harms ocean ecosystems.

We have a chance to convince the Minister, and the authorities in Iceland, that NOW is the time to end whaling, forever.

Artist Shreyans Zaveri’s Vision

Who would want to kill these gentle giants? What harm have they ever caused us? They live away from humans, in the middle of the oceans, living their own lives and yet humans go into their homes and kill them? Have those hunters never experienced the calm energy that these whales exude?

 All of these thoughts translated into my film. I wanted to throw light on the cruel practice of whale hunting and yet I wanted the visuals to be calming and enjoyable, just like the whales themselves. I wanted to take that energy which I felt in their presence and bring it onto the screen. And my movie serves to do that. 

It is one thing to show gruesome images of dead, cut-open whales. That too I am sure moves people into action and total repulsion against hunting practices. But then there is my way of showing it. By spreading the calm energy that they have. I can watch them playing in the water all day long. It’s as if they draw you into a state of meditation. That is what I want people to feel when they watch my film.  

If whalers ever looked into the whales’ eyes, would they launch their harpoons of death? I am sure they wouldn’t. The problem is in the disconnect. When we as humans are so disconnected from other life forms, we lose the very essence of our being. We are tuned out, And that makes it easy to attack and kill other living beings.

I hope this film changes that, one whaler at a time.

What you can do!

Send a positive message to the Icelandic Directorate of Fisheries and Minister of Food, Trade and Fisheries requesting that authorities DO NOT RENEW whaling quotas for 2024 and beyond.

  • Share our campaign film with family and friends and encourage them to act, too.

Share your If Only statement with OPS via email or tag us on social media using #IfOnlyIceland, so that we can share it with the world!

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