I’ve had a few requests to tell of my trip to WhaleFest 2012. So here goes.
2011 was its first year. And it was such a huge success that this year they moved the event to larger premises. The Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel. Its a rather special venue for this particular event, as thirty years ago, in this very hotel, the IWC (International Whaling Commission) agreed to stop whaling.
Thirty years on, dedicated charities continue to fight for the rights of whales. Its a never ending fight.
I sat in on a talk, chaired my Mark P Simmonds, on the thirty years on. There were a few folk on the panel that were present when the yes vote occurred. They set the scene so well I could imagine being there, in the conference room with them thirty years ago. Just imagine, something you’ve fought for, for so long. Rejection, excuses, and delays year after year. Meanwhile thousands of whales continued to be killed inhumanely each year. And then the yes. Yes to no more murdering of these animals. Such euphoria!
Back to WhaleFest. I went down to help out with the WDC (Whale & Dolphin Conservation). Its only a two day event and it flew by so very quickly I really didn’t get a chance to see much of it. However, I got to know some of the WDC head office staff, putting faces and characters to names, which was lovely.
Fifty-ish exhibitors, all to do with the conservation, research, or release of dolphins and whales, along with whale watching holidays, clothes, books, jewellery, photography, and art.
There was: a storytelling room, where published authors told tales or discussed their new books; whale/dolphin artists; workshops for both kids and adults; a cinema of the sea, showing 11 films per day; virtual whale watching trips; two ‘spouting off’ lecture theatres with talks by researchers, experts, and celebs (Mark Carwardine, Bill Oddie); a hall full of activities for kids; scuba and re-breather trials; the ‘Great whale sanctuary’ filled with life-sized whales and dolphins; and much more.
I have to say that I was a tad disappointed with the life-sized bottlenose dolphin, as it portrayed a ‘normal’ bottlenose dolphin, not our four metre long Moray Firth big beasties. Next year can there please be both sizes?
I definitely recommend a wee visit next year if interested in whales, dolphins, and porpoises – whether you are adult, family, normal public, student, scientist – there is something for everyone. 2 & 3 November 2013. Xx
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