Site Selection: British Columbia … National Shamu Day … Advisor Spotlight: Paul Spong … Shout-Out to Misha Collins … Thank You, Thank You!

This is a copy of the October, 2016 newsletter as sent to all subscribers.
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Hello Everyone,

Thank you so much for subscribing to The Whale Sanctuary Project newsletter. Here’s some of what’s been happening over the last few weeks:

Site Selection – British Columbia

Last month, we wrote about our survey of potential sanctuary locations in Nova Scotia. We’ll be visiting a few more locations there this month, but our other focus in October is the west coast, specifically British Columbia.

British Columbia is known for its stunning coastal vistas and thousands of coves, inlets and islands. Several members of our advisory group who live in the region are helping us to create a short list of possible sites, and we’ll be visiting these over the next few weeks.

A particular plus for Nova Scotia has been the support we’ve been getting from the provincial government there. But one important advantage of B.C. is that the water is generally deeper, ice-free and has more protection from storms. So we’ll be weighing the various factors, and then, after B.C., our next focus will be the U.S. states of Washington and Maine.

National Shamu Day

September 26th was National Shamu Day. This annual celebration was started by SeaWorld many years ago to draw attention to their most famous captive orca, Shamu. But Shamu, who had been captured from Puget Sound off the coast of Seattle, survived only six years at SeaWorld San Diego.

After she died, SeaWorld continued to use the name “Shamu” in their orca shows for different killer whales. But as public opposition has grown toward the keeping of these animals in captivity, National Shamu Day has become an opportunity for animal protection groups to press for the release of orcas and other marine mammals to sanctuaries.

This year, our major sponsor Munchkin celebrated National Shamu Day by donating 100 percent of the day’s proceeds from their website to The Whale Sanctuary Project. Many thanks to all the good people at Munchkin for their continuing support!

Advisor Spotlight: Paul Spong

Dr. Paul Spong is co-director of OrcaLab, a land-based whale research station on Hanson Island in British Columbia, and president of the Pacific Orca Society. He’s working closely with us in the search for potential sanctuary sites in B.C.

Paul began studying dolphins and orcas, both captive and wild, in 1967. What he learned led him to work with Greenpeace in the Save-the-Whales movement, which culminated in the moratorium on commercial whaling, agreed to by the International Whaling Commission, in 1982.

After that, Paul returned to full time orca research. Since then, in partnership with his wife Helena, his work has focused on the long-term life history of the Northern Resident community of British Columbia orcas, protection of whales and dolphins in the wild, and bringing an end to the use of these animals in entertainment. In particular, Paul and Helena continue to bring attention to Corky, who is held at SeaWorld San Diego and is the last surviving northern resident captive orca.

Paul and Helena are also involved in the development of technology that connects people to the natural world via the Internet, in particular through Orca-Live and Explore.

Shout-Out to Misha Collins

Special thanks to actor Misha Collins of the TV series Supernatural for promoting The Whale Sanctuary Project at the Supernatural Convention in Dallas. Check out this photo of Misha holding up a poster about the WSP.

Thank You, Thank You!

There’s more news every week in the general media about how nonhuman animals are being retired from zoos and entertainment facilities to sanctuaries. There are already sanctuaries for elephants, big cats, great apes and other land-based animals, but with The Whale Sanctuary Project, we’re looking forward to creating the first North American seaside sanctuary for cetaceans.

Your donation, large or small, makes it all possible. Thank you so much for all your help and support.

Michael Mountain
Member Communications

P.S. For daily updates, visit The Whale Sanctuary Project on Facebook and Twitter.