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6th Annual Whalefest Monterey to be held on January 23 & 24, 2016 at Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey, California
The Whale Watching Capital of the World™
December 2015 (Monterey, CA) –The Monterey Fisherman's Wharf Association will sponsor and hold the 6th ANNUAL WHALEFEST MONTEREY at and around Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey, California, The Whale Watching Capital of the World™ on Saturday, January 23rd and Sunday, January 24th, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
This free fun and educational, interactive family event for all ages celebrates the migration of the gray whales! The event also benefits many local and national marine organizations that inspire, educate, explore and empower the public to protect the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Among the highlights will be a symposium with lectures and documentaries related to ocean and marine life conservation, musical performances, and many educational displays by participating organizations. Thousands of attendees are expected again this year that range from local families and school children who want to learn more about our maritime environment to visitors from near and far who want to explore the annual whale migration.
Whale watchers come from around the world to view hundreds of whales, orcas, dolphins and pelicans who continue to feast on a “krill and anchovy buffet” in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Throughout the year, this Whale Watching Capital of the World™ offers sightings of 15 species of whales, 10 species of dolphins, 2 species of porpoise, 6 species of pinnipeds and 1 species of fissiped (sea otter).
Weather permitting, whale watching tours, fishing, sailing and glass bottom boats (for a fee) will be operating from the Wharf, and Wharf restaurants will be serving lunch and dinner. Wharf shops will also be featuring marine-themed merchandise.
The two-day event will feature a wide array of fun and informative activities including:
A 60-foot model whale – Humphrey the Humpback Whale (attendees can climb inside), will be on site to honor the migration of his friends, the gray whales. There will be squid dissection by scientists from the Hopkins Marine station and interactive displays from the Shark Research Center. Learn more about the Web Entanglement Team (WET) coordinated by Marine Life Studies that help rescue the increasing number of entangled whales. MY Museum will bring Wheelie Mobilee with lots of interactive activities for kids.
Currently, the participating marine conservation organizations that will provide information, demonstrations and activities include:
American Cetacean Society
California Coastal Commission
Camp SEA Lab
Central Coast Lighthouse Keepers
Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
Hopkins Marine Station
Marine Life Studies
Marine Mammal Center
Monterey Academy Oceanographic Science (MAOS)
Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD)
Moss Landing Marine Labs
Pacific Grove Museum
Pacific Shark Research Center
Save the Whales
U.S. Coast Guard & Coast Guard Auxiliary
Whale Entanglement Team (WET)
Ventana Wildlife Society
Additional organizations will be participating too.
Whalefest Monterey once again has lined up world-renowned marine scientists, researchers, authors and historians to speak at a two-day Symposium on January 23rd and 24th, 2016 as part of the Whalefest Monterey event on and around Old Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey. This year’s presentations focus on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and its wildlife; climate change, weather and water anomalies and their affects on marine life; whale entanglements and rescues; and local marine history.
On Saturday, Paul Michel from MBNMS/NOAA will provide an overview of the abundant marine life in Monterey Bay; while leatherback turtle researcher Scott Benson will discuss biology and ecology of leatherback turtles including information specific to the endangered western Pacific population that utilizes US west coast waters as a foraging region. UC Santa Cruz distinguished professor Dan Costa will share his research experience with elephant seals.
Cannery Row Foundation founder and John Steinbeck expert Michael Hemp explores the fate of the Western Flyer research ship that took “Doc” Ricketts and John Steinbeck on a well documented research trip to the Sea of Cortez 70 years ago; and local fisheries historian Tim Thomas will entertain with tales of whales, sardines and canneries in old Monterey.
Scientist, researcher and New York Times bestselling author of Blue Mind, Dr. Wallace J.Nichols, will be on hand to share his insights on the remarkable truth about the benefits of being in, on, under or simply near water. He’ll also sign copies of his book, available at the event.
Sunday’s program focuses on climate change and recent meteorological and oceanographic events and their affect on marine life in general and whales in particular. Marine Biologist Steve Webster, one of the founders of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, will talk about the effects of climate change on whales; while marine ecologist Steve Lonhart explores warm water abnormalities recently observed in Monterey Bay and beyond. Rounding out the program are presentations by the Northern California Whale Entanglement Team, including founder Peggy Stap of Marine Life Studies, who’ll share their experiences and insights into rescuing injured whales on the high seas and in port.
A full schedule of the program with additional speakers (subject to change) will be released later.
For more information, call 831-238-0777.
About the Symposium:
There will also be a 2-day Symposium as part of Whalefest Monterey and some of our presenters (subject to change) and their presentation titles/synopses include:
“Warm water anomalies and a changing seascape”
Elevated ocean temperatures in 2014-15 along the eastern Pacific have resulted in a number of seemingly anomalous events. Normal, however, is a relative term and the appearance of warm-temperate and sub-tropical species in central California should not be surprising given the persistence and spatial extent of the elevated temperatures (commonly referred to as ‘the blob’). Steve Lonhart will discuss several examples of these ‘anomalous’ sightings, range extensions, and population-level responses that have been documented in the nearshore waters in and around Monterey Bay.
"Leatherback turtles in the California Current: Why leatherbacks cross the Pacific"
The presentation will discuss biology and ecology of leatherback turtles including information specific to the endangered western Pacific population that utilizes US west coast waters as a foraging region. The presentation will also include the current status of the population, challenges to recovery and actions that citizens might take to enhance recovery prospects
Wallace J. Nichols
“Blue Mind: A ground-breaking conversation” a New York Times Best Seller by author Wallace J. Nichols, on the remarkable truth about the benefits of being in, on, under or simply near water. Combining cutting edge research with compelling personal stories, Dr. Nichols shows how proximity to water can improve performance, increase calm, diminish anxiety, and increase professional success. Blue Mind not only illustrates the crucial importance of our connection to water --âÂÂÂÂÂÂ it provides a paradigm shifting ‘blueprint’ for a better life.
"Respect and protect marine wildlife - viewing techniques, approach guidelines, and resource protection laws."
"The Saga of the Western Flyer”
Michael Hemp became historical consultant to the new owner of the Western Flyer, marine geologist John Gregg. That purchase in early 2015 rescued the Monterey purse-seiner, from near destruction, chartered by John Steinbeck to Mexico’s Gulf of California in 1940 with marine biologist, Ed Ricketts. Made world-famous in John Steinbeck’s “Log From The Sea of Cortez” the world-famous fishing vessel is now under restoration at Port Townsend, Washington.
"Thar She Blows: There’s Oil in Them Thar Sardines"
The Monterey/California sardine fishery was the largest fishery of a single fish in the history of the United States! Yet, it was never a popular fish to eat. There was a time, at the turn of the 20th century, when people ate sardines almost every day. But the sardines they were eating, came from the North Atlantic, New York State, Maine and from France. When WWI started in 1914, it cut off that fishery and a new source for sardines was needed.
Monterey sardines were introduced to the world at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Expedition. Grocery stores all over the United States bought all they could get their hands on, and the price for Monterey sardines went up and up. With the end of WWI in 1919, the fisheries in the North Atlantic reopened, and the price of Monterey sardines dropped to the point where the Monterey canneries were losing money with every sardine canned. But these canners had learned early on, the Monterey sardine was large and full of oil, and new resource was born.
“Climate Change - How Will It Affect Whales?”
Steve will be speaking about dwarf Minke whales in Australia, as well as climate change, what we know about it and what we should be doing now to assure a livable Planet for our grandchildren. And theirs.
“Monterey Bay - The Big Blue Buffet”
Animals from across the Pacific travel thousands of miles to Monterey Bay every year to feast upon the bounty that is produced annually off the central coast of California. The combination of deep ocean upwelling, currents, light, temperate climate, and the protection afforded by layers of state and federal protection, result in a feeding frenzy not seen but in just a few places on earth.
Whale Entanglement Team
“Rescuing Whales, One at a Time”
Peggy Stap, one of the founders of the Whale Entanglement Team for Northern California will recount how the team evolved over nearly a decade, and how raised awareness has resulted in a fast rise in the number of entanglement reports and whale rescues. She describes vividly the process of disentangling whales off the California Coast with footage of real life rescues.
Other members of the team will share their experience with freeing a Minke whale that had gotten trapped inside Monterey Harbor.
About the Presenters:
Daniel Costa Ph.D. is a Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California at Santa Cruz. His research focuses on the ecology and physiology of marine mammals and seabirds, taking him to every continent and almost every habitat from the Galapagos to Antarctica. He has worked with a broad range of animals including turtles, penguins’ albatross, seals, sea lions, sirenians, whales and dolphins and has published over 400 scientific papers. His current work is aimed at recording the movement and distribution patterns of marine mammals and seabirds in an effort to understand their habitat needs. He is an internationally recognized authority on tracking of marine mammals and birds and as such is a member of a number of international science steering committees including the Integrated Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics program, The Census of Marine Life, Southern Ocean GLOBEC, CLIOTOP and the Southern Ocean Observing System.
Wallace “J.” Nichols
Dr. Wallace "J." Nichols is a scientist, wild water advocate, movement-maker, and New York Times best selling author of Blue Mind who works to inspire a deeper connection with nature. He is a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences and co-founder of Ocean Revolution, SEEtheWILD, Grupo Tortuguero, Blue Marbles Project and the Blue Mind Fund. He resides on California’s SlowCoast with his wife, two daughters and a pod of dogs, cats, chickens and wildlife.
Peggy Stap, Executive Director of Marine Life Studies, started her whale research with the Hawaii Whale Research Foundation (HWRF), a nonprofit research and conservation group trained to run all aspects of research projects including data recorder, videographer and photographer on the ship and underwater.
In 2006, The Whale Entanglement Team (WET) was convened and the accomplishments of Marine Life Studies include: the initial team assembly, 877-SOS-WHALE phone number, printed response cards, printed marine mammal guides, a complete tool cache for the central and northern California coast, a response boat, a trailer that can carry all the equipment, and the Research Scientist Program, designed to teach the skills required to be a marine researcher, which includes a training program for new volunteers of WET as well as holding refresher trainings for existing members of WET.
Scott Benson is the lead investigator of the leatherback turtle ecology program and coordinates studies of the distribution, abundance, movement patterns, foraging ecology, and health of endangered western Pacific leatherback turtles along the U.S. West Coast and throughout the Pacific. His research integrates bio-telemetry, aerial surveys, vessel-based sampling, and satellite remote sensing to enhance understanding of how oceanographic processes influence the occurrence and behavior of this species, and to aid U.S. and international conservation and recovery efforts. Since 1986, he has been involved in ecological research and conservation of marine vertebrates in the Pacific Ocean, including integrated studies of marine mammals and seabirds along the U.S. West Coast. He is stationed at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.
Tim Thomas, fourth-generation native of the Monterey area, is a fisheries historian who has researched the fisheries of Monterey Bay for over twenty-five years. He has researched, written and lectured extensively on Monterey’s fishing communities and has published three books about local fishing history. He was the Historian/Curator for the Monterey Maritime Museum for 16 years. He is also the historical consultant for the Monterey Bay Aquarium and has worked and developed programs for Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and California State Parks. Recently, he was featured on the PBS/BBC program, Big Blue Live and conducts monthly “Wharf Walks” about the fascinating history of the Monterey Bay on the first Saturday of each month at Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf.
Dr. Lonhart has worked as a marine ecologist for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary since 2002. Although he has several interests in marine ecology, his scientific research has focused on invasion biology, kelp forest ecology, and marine invertebrate natural history, with an emphasis on marine gastropods. As the senior scientist for the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN), Steve is responsible for maintaining SIMoN's research and monitoring programs and implementing SIMoN's scientific goals to integrate existing monitoring programs within the sanctuary; supporting research and monitoring programs that address important resource management issues; and disseminating information to resource managers, researchers, educators, and the general public. He is also involved in several research and monitoring projects, including studies on the effectiveness of state marine protected areas, the ecological effects of invasive species, and the impact of sea star wasting syndrome on subtidal benthic communities in central CA.
As Federal Regulatory & Enforcement Coordinator of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Scott Kathey interprets and develops federal regulations; investigates sanctuary regulatory violations, coastal incidents, and citizen complaints; and coordinates enforcement activities between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to protect sanctuary resources. He also serves as the sanctuary's emergency response coordinator for issues such as vessel groundings and spills. He is a certified NOAA divemaster, small boat operator, and aircrew member.
He has worked for the National Marine Sanctuary Program since 1992. He worked for the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Proposed Northwest Straits National Marine Sanctuary Programs in Washington State prior to joining the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary staff in 1994.
Michael Hemp created the non-profit Cannery Row Foundation in 1983 and has been President of its Board of Directors since 2008. Presently, he is Director of Marketing, Communications & Special Events of the Cannery Row Company and owner of the History Company. He is the researcher and author of “CANNERY ROW, The History of John Steinbeck’s Old Ocean View Avenue”; member of the editorial Board of the "Steinbeck Review" and member of the Advisory Board of the Martha Heasley Cox Steinbeck Studies Center at San Jose State University. Most recently, he became historical consultant to the new owner of the Western Flyer, marine geologist John Gregg. That purchase in early 2015 rescued the Monterey purse-seiner, from near destruction, chartered by John Steinbeck to Mexico’s Gulf of California in 1940 with marine biologist, Ed Ricketts. Made world-famous in John Steinbeck’s “Log From The Sea of Cortez” the world-famous fishing vessel is now under restoration at Port Townsend, Washington. With Cannery Row studies incomplete without knowledge of the role of the Western Flyer in the legacies of Ed Ricketts and John Steinbeck, Michael Hemp has spent a career in attempting to make the Western Flyer a centerpiece of Monterey history.
Steven Webster retired in 2004 as Senior Marine Biologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He taught invertebrate zoology at San Jose State University until 1978 when he and three friends began brainstorming the idea of a public aquarium on Cannery Row in Monterey, CA. He has been involved with the aquarium since its conception, first as Project Coordinator and then as Director of Education and Senior Marine Biologist. He continues to volunteer as an interpretive guide at the aquarium, and teaches Monterey Bay natural history classes for staff and volunteers.
He has served on the board of trustees for the York School, the Sea Studios Foundation, and the Friends of Hopkins Marine Station. He served on and is past Chair of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council.
Paul Michel is a nationally-recognized leader in wetlands, coast, and ocean management and protection. He has extensive experience in developing and implementing comprehensive natural resource management and protection plans and managing marine protected areas. He was named Superintendent of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in April 2007. He is responsible for all of the science, education, and resource protection programs involved with managing and protecting the nation’s second largest marine sanctuary at over 6,000 square miles. He is also Executive Co-Producer of YourSanctuaryTV, a local access cable and internet television show featuring national marine sanctuaries.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Michel worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where he served in various capacities in Washington, D.C., including a White House assignment in the Office of Management and Budget. He led EPA’s efforts to restore and protect wetlands in southern California and directed coastal and wetlands protection programs across California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, as well as bi-national environmental programs with Mexico.
Jim Vanderzwaan (coming soon)
Steve Ellzey (M.C.)
Stephen Ellzey spent the last 35 years in the fields of Media and Marketing doing everything from copy writing to Executive Production. He has worked for newspapers, in radio, for PBS and for CBS. He co-founded AMP Community Television in 1996, and served as Board Chair until 2010 when he joined the staff to launch the first ever Curated Community Television Station. Mr. Ellzey has won regional, national and international awards for his ocean conservation documentary productions, along with regional awards for radio and television scripting and production.
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