2019 World Whale Conference ‘Journeys that Inspire Change’

Ocean spirit humpback - Copy7 – 12th October 2019, Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia.

Hosted by Fraser Coast Tourism and Events and the World Cetacean Alliance

We’re very excited to have been invited to be present at this conference next month!

Glenn is speaking on Tuesday 8th under the title:

Diving Deeper into our Relationship with Whales and their Ocean Home

and we will have a stand for the duration of the conference.

Earlier this century we were fortunate to spend several months of the year with the humpback whales of Tonga around the Ha’apai Islands. From our whale watching base on Foa Island, we took people out on our Wharram sailing catamaran and swam with these incredibly majestic beings. As a result of our experiences with the whales, we went on to establish Ocean Spirit Ltd which subsequently gave birth to Te Wairua O Te Moananui-Ocean Spirit Charitable Trust in January this year.

Glenn’s abstract for the conference is as follows:

Ko tãtou te moana, Ko te moana ko tãtou
We are the Ocean, The Ocean is us – Maori proverb

In the Biosphere, water cannot be separated from life and life cannot be separated from water.”  Vladimir Vernadsky (19th century Russian scientist and pioneer of the biospheric sciences).
We modern humans have been living under the delusion of separation: separation of our species from the rest of the life community, and the arbitrary separation of life and the ‘non-living’ environment. But for cetaceans, and indeed, all marine life there has never been any separation between themselves and the Ocean.

The whales (especially the migrating species) need us to understand that the Ocean is one living system, and as such, we must address our personal and collective relationship with this living presence. We need to comprehend and experience ourselves as a part of, rather than apart from our Ocean planet as we explore what actions we can take to secure a positive future for the Ocean, the whales and ourselves.
These are the themes of my book “The Ocean Is Alive: Re-visioning our relationship with the living Ocean”, which was inspired by my twenty year relationship with humpback whales in the Kingdom of Tonga (the subjects of my earlier book “Humpback Whales of the South West Pacific”). 

Transitioning from an anthropocentric world-view to an eco-centric perspective is fundamental to developing a more harmonious and respectful relationship with the Ocean and our cetacean kin. We believe that community based initiatives can play a key role in re-defining these relationships.

This is also a wonderful opportunity to showcase our Hauora Moana (Healthy Ocean) Community Monitoring Initiative whose purpose is to encourage local communities to ‘take ownership’ of the health and well being of their coastal marine ecosystems.


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