"Thus I give up the spear" is the last thing said by Ahab in the novel Moby Dick and Phil Halper empathises believing it marks "our transition from hunting whales to realising we can simply admire these magnificent animals."
Filmed over many trips, Phil swam with humpback and sperm whales off the coast of the Dominican Republic, while venturing to Mexico to film a group of grey whales also known as the Friendly Whales of San Ignacio.
Eden Shorts judge Michaela Strachan commented:
This is a really great effort to shoot whales and it feels like a fantastically positive piece that drives excitement in seeing the whales!
One of the most striking parts of Thus I Give Up The Spear sees Phil record a pod of sleeping sperm whales standing "like a city of skyscrapers in the water".
Elsewhere, the film features a whale calf named Chaos who playfully swims with the divers while his mother rested near the bottom. The mother's rise from the depth to breach was used as the final shot of Phil's film, a moment that he says "will stay with me forever".
Small boats are only allowed into one small section of the lagoon at San Ignacio making it very easy for the "friendly" grey whales to stay clear should they desire. But as their nickname would suggest, they flock to the boats, blowing bubbles and lining up to get stroked, providing an intimacy between humans and these great beasts of the ocean.
Fellow judge and experienced natural history broadcaster Nigel Marven added:
Both Michaela and I know how difficult it is to film whales, and filming in water is a tough medium. Phil strikes a good balance above and below the surface.
Phil hopes that "anyone that has had such an interaction will immediately care about the future health of whales in general and so will promote conservation."