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The Premier Whale Research And Education Event, Whale Tales, Is Taking Place This February

January 28, 2021 Luxury Hotels No Comments

Join leading international scientists, photographers, and conservationists as they share their latest work at the 15th Annual Whale Tales on February 13th and 14th, 2021. Presented by Whale Trust, a Maui-based whale research and education organization, this year’s event will be a virtual experience offering online presentations, check-ins from around the world, and a host of experiential and interactive opportunities for attendees of all ages. In partnership with The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua and Drury Design, Whale Tales – A Virtual Experience will bring the beauty of Maui and its humpback whales to you—no matter where you are.

For nearly two decades, the Whale Trust research team has dedicated itself to exploring and understanding whale song and natural behavior patterns in whales, and Whale Tales has been a vital part of that mission for 15 years. But that’s not the only milestone we’re celebrating in 2021. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark paper, Songs of Humpback Whales, by Roger Payne and Scott McVay as well as the release of Payne’s compilation of recordings, “Songs of the Humpback Whale.” These breakthroughs helped cement the humpbacks as a symbol of conservation efforts around the world, including the iconic Save the Whales campaigns. Fifty years later, humpback whale song still captivates all who listen and continues to drive researchers to unlock its mysteries. This year’s Whale Tales is dedicated to celebrating that anniversary and the marine research and conservation efforts that followed.

Special guest Roger Payne will kick off the weekend, followed by a lineup of speakers from around the world—all of whom have dedicated their lives to understanding the communication and social behaviors of whales. Event speakers and topics include:

Robin Baird, PhD, Cascadia Research
Dwarf Sperm Whales in Hawaiian Waters: Using Drones, Photo-ID, and Citizen Science to Study a Difficult-to-study Species

Kenneth Balcomb, Center for Whale Research
Orca Survey and the Big Salmon Ranch

Lars Bejder, PhD University of Hawaii at Manoa – Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology
The Energetic Cost of Humpback Whale Migration

Moira Brown, PhD Canadian Whale Institute
Right Whales and Their Allies

Rachel Cartwright, PhD, The Keiki Kohola Project
Weathering the Lean Years – How Maui’s Moms and Calves Fared Through Recent Climate-based Disruptions in the North Pacific.

Hannah Cubaynes, British Antarctic Survey
Whales from Space

Jim Darling, PhD, Whale Trust
North Pacific Humpback Whale Song

Ellen Garland, PhD, University of St Andrews
South Pacific Humpback Whale Song

Beth Goodwin, Jupiter Research Foundation
Wave Glider Europa’s Multi-year Open Ocean Survey Of Humpback Whales

Ralph Lee Hopkins, Ralph Lee Hopkins Photography and Lindblad Expeditions
Whale Tales 2021 – A Look Back At Five Years Of Photo Expeditions

Anke Kügler, Marine Biology Graduate Program, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Marc Lammers, PhD, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
The Occurrence of Humpback Whales in the NWHI Revealed Through a Marine Drone

Mike Korostelev, Whale Watching Russia
Whale’s Photographer – Encounters that Can Change Your Life

Ed Lyman, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
The Science Behind Large Whale Entanglement Response

Flip Nicklin, Whale Trust and National Geographic
Whale Tales, A Chance to Tell Our Story

Ralph Pace, Ralph Pace Photography and Whale Trust
Whales of Monterey

Debbie Patton, Captain Steve’s Rafting
Humpback Birth Video, Update

Roger Payne, PhD, Ocean Alliance
Brian Skerry, Brian Skerry Photography and National Geographic
Secrets of the Whales

Kate Stafford, PhD, University of Washington
Listening to a Changing Arctic

Andrew Stevenson, Whales Bermuda
What Are The Humpback Whales Doing in Bermuda?

Jason Sturgis, Open Ocean Productions and Whale Trust
SD To HD. 4K To 8K. Advancing Camera Technology and How it has Helped Whale Research

Hal Whitehead, PhD, Dalhousie University
The Cultural Lives of Sperm Whales

Dave Wiley, PhD, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Using Advanced Technologies to Explore the Underwater Behavior of Humpback Whales

Registration is required to attend. A minimum $60 donation supports whale research through the Whale Tales Beneficiary Fund. Registration includes access to the weekend event and to all content for 30 days post-event. Special events, benefit whale watches, and virtual experiences to be announced. Visit to register, view a detailed schedule, and learn more about the event.

Support whale research and education through this unique global event! In-kind and financial sponsorships are available. Visit or contact Whale Trust ( for more information.

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