Sculpture Honours Captive Cetaceans' Deaths
An installation of an orca and its calf, made up of 1,500 of black and white crosses, has been unveiled on Brighton beach, UK, ahead of the fourth annual ‘WhaleFest’ on 14 and 15 March 2015.
The 'Whale Graveyard' installation was inspired by a piece created by Earthrace Conservation and stands to honour the thousands of cetaceans that have died in captivity at marine theme parks across the world.
WhaleFest’s Director, Ian Rowlands, said: 'Similar to the Tower of London’s incredible ‘poppies’ tribute last year, we hope that the ‘Whale Graveyard’ will provide a moving reminder that marine animals continue to suffer and die unnecessarily in captivity. We are sure that this impressive art installation will be a great talking point and visual representation of the plight of marine mammals around the world.'
Conservation groups campaigning for an end to dolphin and whale captivity have registered their first victories after the 2013 award-winning documentary Blackfish addressed SeaWorld's inhumane training practices and living conditions of the orca whales held at the parks.
Former SeaWorld orca trainer John Hargrove and star of Blackfish will join a list of high profile campaigners and experts at WhaleFest this weekend.
Ric O’Barry, the original trainer from the TV series ‘Flipper’ and director of the groundbreaking documentary The Cove will share the stage with natural history TV presenter, adventurer and author, Steve Backshall, TV presenter and author Michaela Strachan, adventurer and broadcaster Monty Halls, wildlife cameraman and TV presenter Gordon Buchanan and investigative reporter Donal MacIntyre. Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson will join the event via video link.
The WhaleFest organisers expect 20,000 people to join the event this weekend, profits will go towards a campaign to keep dolphins and whales out of captivity.
Steve Backshall says, 'I’m thrilled to be guest director of WhaleFest this year. I'm passionate about preserving the diverse life that our oceans support and I'm looking forward to being part of a fun and thought-provoking event that inspires people of all ages to protect and love our ocean dwelling friends.'
Join us at WhaleFest on 14 and 15 March between 9:00am and 5:30pm. For a full list of guest speakers and exhibitors, tickets and other information please visit www.whale-fest.com.