Actress Holly Marie Combs boards as Associate Producer of the first feature length film produced by Sea Sea Shepherd Conservation Society 

Premiering July 2016 

baby turtles heading to the oceanSea Shepherd Conservation Society supporters Richard Dean Anderson and Holly Marie Combs are lending their names as producers on the company’s crowd-funded documentary feature Why Just One? 

The documentary follows Sea Shepherd's 2015 sea turtle defense campaign, Operation Jairo, which took place in Honduras, Florida and Costa Rica. Why Just One? focuses specifically on the sea turtle defenders’ successes and struggles of the ground campaign in Costa Rica. 

The Costa Rican campaign takes place on the remote Pacuare Island and Moin Beach, the latter where Costa Rican turtle defender Jairo Mora Sandoval was brutally murdered on May 31, 2013 while attempting to protect leatherback turtle nests. Sea Shepherd named Operation Jairo in his honor. 

From death threats to attacks, from protecting sea turtles and their eggs, to interviews with Costa Rican activists and Sandoval's best friend, Why Just One? seeks to answer the question of why only one in one thousand sea turtles survive to maturity. 

The documentary also looks to answer why sea turtles are disappearing from the beaches of Costa Rica – and can we save them in time? 

“This species which has survived so much, may not survive us,” commented Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson. 

Executive producer Anderson, a close friend of Watson who is best known to fans in the title role of the hit TV series MacGyver, says he hopes the film will bring world-wide attention to the “heart-breaking plight” of sea turtles. 

“My support for Captain Paul Watson, and the hearty hordes of volunteers who make up the crews venturing out to sea, has exposed me to the kind of on-going education that continues to enlighten me, both head and heart,” said Anderson. “It is my hope, as Executive Producer, that this documentary will shed a bright light on a dire situation, and proceed to enlighten ALL of us to care about these endangered turtles, as well as ALL of our earths marine life.   

Associate producer Combs, who came to prominence on the TV series Charmed and currently appears on Pretty Little Liars, added: 

“I became a Sea Shepherd supporter a few years ago when I learned of their amazing work defending the oceans and her inhabitants. Sea Shepherd has shined an international spotlight on the slaughter of dolphins in Japan and the documentary Why Just One? will bring that same international spotlight on the poaching of sea turtles in Costa Rica. I look forward to many more years of working with the courageous and dedicated volunteers of Sea Shepherd.” 

About the Film  

Produced, directed and edited by Michael Colin, Why Just One? reached its initial funding on Indiegogo in less that 24 hours and has backers from over 40 counties. It is scheduled for release July, 2016. A stretch goal was announced and additional perks were added for a limited time only. To support this film and learn more, please visit http://bit.ly/WhyJustOne

About Sea Turtles

There are seven species of sea turtles in the world. Four have been identified as "endangered" or "critically endangered,” and two are classed as "vulnerable,” by the IUCN Red List of Endangered species. Sea turtles are some of the oldest living creatures, one of the few who’ve watched dinosaurs evolve and become extinct. They are now facing the same fate as their predecessors.

Turtle Poaching/Operation Jairo

On the island of Pacuare there are scarce ways to make a living. Many turn to poaching eggs and killing turtles for meat as income. There is a black-market demand for decorative tortoiseshell while the consumption of turtle meat and eggs is considered a delicacy by some. Turtle slaughter and egg poaching remain relatively unexposed and Costa Rica is often portrayed as an eco-touristic safe haven for animals. Operation Jairo’s aims to increase international awareness of what is happening in Costa Rica and influence the government to take a more active role in protecting these creatures before it’s too late.

For more information about Operation Jairo and facts about sea turtles, visit the Sea Shepherd web page: http://www.seashepherd.org/jairo

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