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Cousteau to join world-renowned marine science and photography experts at Whale Tales

By Staff | Feb 13, 2020

Presenters at this year’s Whale Tales include Photographer Charles “Flip” Nicklin of Whale Trust. His presentation, “Picturing Whales, from the Past to the Future,” will explore how scientific discoveries and media advances continually change how we view, understand and protect whales and the ocean environment. PHOTO BY FLIP NICKLIN/MINDEN PICTURES. NMFS PERMIT #19225. 

KAPALUA – Whale Trust and The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua invite the public to gather Valentine’s Day weekend for the 14th annual Whale Tales event. Special guest Jean-Michel Cousteau joins 13 world-renowned experts February 14-17 to share the latest in marine research, exploration and discovery.

The son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel has investigated the world’s oceans for much of his life and founded Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to honor his heritage and carry on this pioneering work.

As a voice for the ocean, Cousteau inspires and educates audiences worldwide about the need to act responsibly and preserve the fragile underwater ecosystems that are so intricately tied to all life on Earth.

He believes genuine care is often born through connection, and this is the thought behind Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment, a hands-on, educational program developed by Ocean Futures Society in partnership with The Ritz-Carlton.

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is one of only four Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide to offer this unique program where kids and adults are encouraged to engage with the world around them and understand how their actions can help preserve it for future generations.

The son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel has investigated the world’s oceans for much of his life and founded Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to honor his heritage and carry on this pioneering work.

Whale Tales is an educational and fundraising event presented annually by Whale Trust, a Maui-based whale research organization, to promote and support scientific research and education about whales and the ocean environment.

Cousteau shared, “Whales are a keystone species, meaning that when they thrive, the ocean is in a healthy state. This is why it is so crucial to preserve their populations and ensure that they do not go extinct. Every time we lose a species, the natural system gets weaker. Animal diversity is synonymous with stability. We, as humans, are the only species that is capable of making such decisions and essentially controlling the fate of another species. We must do this wisely and protect the species that will in turn protect us. When you protect the ocean, you protect yourself.”

Now in its 14th year, the event features expert presentations, benefit whale watches with presenters, marine photography and films, and opportunities to network with world-renowned authorities in whale research.

Presentations, the Whale Tales Marine Science Center and the expo are open to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Registration for attending the talks and expo is required, and a suggested donation of $20 per person/day is encouraged to support whale research in the Pacific through the Whale Tales Beneficiary Program.

The expo and Marine Science Center will showcase local businesses, artists and hands-on education stations presented by Maui nonprofit organizations. From National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) 40-foot walk-in inflatable humpback whale to Maui Ocean Center’s coral feeding stations, guests of all ages will have the opportunity to learn more about whales and their environment through interactive discovery.

Tickets for an exciting selection of benefit whale watches with Whale Tales presenters on board are available for purchase online. This year’s whale watches and ocean experiences begin on Thursday, Feb. 13, and continue through Monday, Feb. 17. The third annual Family Day Whale Watch will be on Monday, Feb. 17, and will feature on board hands-on education stations for keiki.

Learn more and register online at whaletales.org. All proceeds from the weekend’s activities help fund whale research in the Pacific.

Accommodation packages at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua are still available; for information, visit www.ritzcarlton.com/kapalua.

Whale Tales is made possible through the generous support of many individuals and organizations. This year’s supporters include the Makana Aloha Foundation; George and Marie Weis; The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua; PSAV; Alaska Airlines; OluKai; Adobe; and many individuals and businesses.

For more information on Whale Trust, visit www.whaletrust.org.