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Holbox: Sharks and the people from the Sea

“Holbox: Sharks and the People of the Sea”. The stars of this short documentary are the fishers. Their narratives immerse the public in the historical shark fisheries that existed on Holbox Island several decades ago. Fishers discussed their past fishing practices focused on diverse species of sharks that existed in the coastal area, including tigers, bulls, lemons, bonnet heads, among others. Fishers also expose how things have changed around the island which evolved from a tiny fishing town that was much in isolation and turned into a hot spot for global tourism interested in sun and sand activities but also in swimming with the whale sharks.
In this story, fishers´ also consider their awareness of the consequences of overfishing and recapitulate on the need to change fishing behaviors and consider other income sources besides fishing, given the growing scarcity of big fish on landings.

  • Nadia Tamara Rubio
    Holbox Island: Humans and Nature
  • Nadia Tamara Rubio
    Holbox Island: Humans and Nature
  • Nadia Tamara Rubio
    Holbox Island: Humans and Nature
  • Daniel Lugo
    Editor and Post Production
    Entre Redes
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Holbox: Tiburones y la Gente del Mar
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Environment, Marine Conservation, Ocean, Sharks, Humans, Islands
  • Runtime:
    22 minutes 13 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 31, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    6,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Holbox´s Island House of Culture
    Holbox Island
    December 7, 2022
    Event for the fishers´community of Holbox Island
  • Sand Dollar, Community Event
    February 11, 2023
    Screening for the community of Cozumel Island
  • Sharks International, Valencia Spain
    October 22, 2022
    For the international Shark researchers community
Director Biography - Nadia Tamara Rubio

Nadia is a Latina who got her doctoral degree in Marine Biology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. For the past 20 years, Nadia has been involved in many marine ecology research programs in the Gulf of California, the Mexican Caribbean, off the California Coast, and the South Pacific. She has worked on a broad scope of projects related to the study of coastal ecosystem services and small-scale fisheries. In the past five years, Nadia has been developing science outreach material focused on island conservation. It was through this activity that she could create her first short documentary focused on the preservation of Holbox Island. Nadia is currently a fellow for Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) and WWF Russell E. Train Education For Nature where she focuses on studying sharks´exploitation. It is through these research grants she has created her second short documentary Holbox: Sharks and People from the Sea. Her underwater sea turtle videos were on Najil AaK documentary, which has received several awards worldwide. Diverse institutions have supported her science and science outreach activities, such as The Rufford Foundation, Idea Wild, Women divers Hall of Fame, SOSF and WWF. Nadia lives on Cozumel Island in the Mexican Caribbean, where she is learning skills for underwater photography and documenting the human-nature interactions through time.

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Director Statement

Understanding nature from different human perspectives can help ocean conservation. My work on stories of coastal people, sharks and the environment aims to awaken the the inner human spirit of self-discovery towards protecting oceans´ biodiversity.