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Event brings international scientists to Maui to address critical issues in whale research and ocean stewardship

By Staff | Feb 1, 2018

Benefit whale watches with scientists, conservationists and photographers featured at Whale Tales will run from Feb. 16-19. PHOTO BY FLIP NICKLIN-MINDEN PICTURES, NMFS PERMIT 753.

WEST MAUI – Whale Trust invites the public to join world-renowned scientists, photographers and conservationists at the 12th annual Whale Tales on Feb. 16-19 in West Maui.

Whale Tales 2018 will feature four days of expert presentations, guided whale watches, films, an education/art expo and Whale Tales Family Day. More than 16,000 people have attended the event since its debut in 2006 and contributed over $575,000 for whale research in Hawaii.

Learn the latest findings on marine mammals around the world, including right whales, killer whales, humpback whales and bowhead whales.

Hear from the experts about the effects of human activities on marine mammals and view stunning underwater photography and videography of whales in their natural environment.

Join presenters on the water with the whales during benefit whale watching cruises hosted throughout the weekend and sponsored by local whale watch businesses.

National Geographic Contributing Photographer and Whale Trust Co-founder Flip Nicklin explained, “In a time of so many uncertainties regarding the future of our oceans, Whale Tales is an opportunity to hear directly from the top scientists closest to the study of whales and the marine environment.”

The event will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua and Monday afternoon at The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. Presentations are open to the public. A $20 per day donation is encouraged to support whale research in Hawaii.

The Education and Art Expo runs throughout the weekend, featuring hands-on learning opportunities with local nonprofit organizations, marine photography and art displays, and showcases from local businesses.

Benefit whale watches with the experts are hosted daily throughout the weekend. For detailed information and tickets, visit whaletales.org.

On Friday, Feb. 16, the Education & Art Expo will be held at The Ritz-Carlton from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., and presentations are set for 2 to 5:30 p.m.

Events on Saturday, Feb. 17, include benefit whale watches from 7 to 11:30 a.m., Education & Art Expo at The Ritz-Carlton from noon to 5 p.m., a Brown Bag Lunch with Dr. Jim Darling from noon to 12:30 p.m., and presentations at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua from 1 to 5 p.m.

On Sunday, Feb. 18, after benefit whale watches from 7 to 11:30 a.m., The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua will host the Education & Art Expo from noon to 5 p.m. and presentations from 1 to 5 p.m.

The lineup for Monday, Feb. 19, includes benefit whale watches from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Family Day Whale Watch from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.; hands-on science, art and technology activities with special guests and local marine conservation organizations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and film screenings of “Big Pacific” as featured on PBS, MacGillivray Freeman’s “Dream Big: Engineering Our World,” and a behind-the-scenes footage preview of “Disneynature’s Dolphins” at The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa.

To support the beneficiaries of Whale Tales, consider a $20 suggested donation per day to attend.

The 2018 presenters include Dr. Jim Darling, research biologist and co-founder of Whale Trust; Dr. John Ford, marine mammal scientist; Christine Gabriele, president of the Hawaii Marine Mammal Consortium; Ralph Lee Hopkins, director of photography at Lindblad Expeditions; Dr. Scott Kraus, vice president and senior advisor at Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life and chief scientist, marine mammals; Ed Lyman, Large Whale Entanglement Response coordinator at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary; Jill Mickelsen of the Hawaii Whale Research Foundation; Dr. Joseph Mobley, researcher and professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa; Kathy Moran, senior editor of natural history, National Geographic Magazine; Flip Nicklin, contributing photographer at National Geographic and co-founder of Whale Trust; Dr. Rosalind Rolland, director of ocean health and senior acientist at the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life; Dr. Kate Stafford, principal oceanographer at the University of Washington; Marty Wolff, fine art photographer; and special guests Dr. Meagan Jones Gray, co-founder and executive director of Whale Trust; and Conservation Photographer Ralph Pace.

Featured artists and photographers include Douglas Hoffman, Chelsea Kohl, Ryan Staub and Wolff.

Whale Tales is hosted annually by Whale Trust, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to whale research and education, and is made possible through the generous support of many individuals and organizations.

Whale Tales 2018 sponsorship packages include VIP passes, premium seating, private reception tickets and a complimentary whale watch with Nicklin ($500 and above). Other whale watches can be purchased in advance at www.whaletales.org or by calling (808) 572-5700.

For more information, detailed schedule of events, tickets and registration, visit www.whaletales.org.