WhaleFest & Morgan

WhaleFest, Brighton, UK

whalefestWhaleFest began in 2011 and by 2012 more than 2,500 people had attended the 2 day event.  That same year the Free Morgan Foundation (FMF) first attended WhaleFest and the concept of the World Cetacean Alliance was also formed and FMF became a founding member.

WhaleFest “brings the world together to give marine life and our oceans a bigger voice.”

By 2014 approximately 12,000 people attended the 14-16 March event. Morgan’s plight was one of the main themes of that years event and she was a ‘featured creature’ – with banners, photos and posters of her all throughout the venue.

In 2015 over 15,000 people took part in the main festival and these numbers are only expected to grow.  During the 2015 event one of the main themes was the issue of keeping cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) in captivity.  Sadly, as things have only worsened for Morgan during her stay at Loro Parque, Morgan’s story featured strongly.

13 March 2014, taking the message out to the public, supporters of the FMF carried a model cetacean around the streets to help raise awareness
13 March 2014, taking the message out to the public, supporters of the FMF carried a model cetacean around the streets to help raise awareness

Each year that FMF has attended we have had a booth where the public can meet us, discuss the situation that Morgan is in and obtain information.  At each WhaleFest the FMF team has also provided talks, featured on panels, provided one-on-one careers advice in special student-mentor workshops, conducted media interviews, participated in events prior to or as part of WhaleFest such as the ‘Release of Mock-Morgan’ on Brighton Beach and participated in fundraising events for cetacean-centric causes hosted through WhaleFest.  We have been involved with children’s activities that raise awareness about keeping cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) in captivity.

A special ‘long swim to freedom’ event was held as part of WhaleFest 2014. A ‘mock-Morgan’ – a life-size and realistic Morgan was placed in actual rescue pontoons, lifted with a crane and taken out to sea – as if a real rescue had been conducted.  This event created a lot of public awareness and media interest.

The FMF have also supported NGO’s who could not attend WhaleFest by providing space at the FMF booth for their information and posters and helped raise the profile of other captive cetaceans around the globe.  The FMF outreach at WhaleFest is so extensive that it deserves its own page.  We provide here just a few images of some of the events that are part of WhaleFest.  We hope you can join us at the next one, scheduled for 2018.  Once the date and venue is confirmed we will add details here and on Morgan’s facebook page.

2014 WhaleFest, Dr Visser illustrating the misinformation the captivity industry has told the public about Morgan
2014 WhaleFest, Dr Visser illustrating the misinformation the captivity industry has told the public about Morgan
Dr Ingrid Visser talking to a packed room at WhaleFest 2014
Dr Ingrid Visser talking to a packed room at WhaleFest 2014
WhaleFest 2014, FMF booth with volunteers - note the children's pictures along the font of the tables & on the walls.
WhaleFest 2014, FMF booth with volunteers – note the children’s pictures along the font of the tables & on the walls.
2014 WhaleFest 'Release Mock Morgan' promenade walk
2014 WhaleFest ‘Release Mock Morgan’ promenade walk
2014-WhaleFest 'Release Mock Morgan' in rescue pontoons
2014-WhaleFest ‘Release Mock Morgan’ in rescue pontoons
2014 WhaleFest 'Mock Morgan Release' as 'Morgan' is taken out into the open ocean
2014 WhaleFest ‘Mock Morgan Release’ as ‘Morgan’ is taken out into the open ocean

 

WhaleFest 2015 - FMF booth with volunteers
WhaleFest 2015 – FMF booth with volunteers
WhaleFest 2015 -Rosina Lisker with Ric O'Barry et al during panel discussions
WhaleFest 2015 -Rosina Lisker with Ric O’Barry et al during panel discussions.