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Risso's dolphin at surface

My lucky number – 13 years studying amazing Risso’s dolphins

Everything we learn about the Risso's dolphins off the coast of Scotland amazes us and...
Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

Talking crap and carcasses to protect our planet

We know we need to save the whale to save the world because they are...
Fin whale (balaenoptera physalus) Three fin whales Gulf of California.

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Orca (ID171) breaches off the coast of Scotland © Steve Truluck.

Watching whales and dolphins in the wild can be life changing

Whales and dolphins are too intelligent, too large and too mobile to ever thrive in...

Summer Fun

For the past two years Plymouth Chamber of Commerce has hosted the Plymouth Maritime Day and we have participated and watched it grow in success. Prior to Maritime Day, summer was still celebrated in Plymouth with a Blessing of the Fleet. (one of my favorite years was when the Plymouth Harbor Masters agreed to sit in the dunking booth as a fundraiser for us). Maritime Day however, combines the Blessing of the Fleet with a number of other Plymouth traditions. So needless to say this past weekend, was busy and filled with fun.

Maritime Day was started off with Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes & Drums, who were amazing and included one of our own harbor masters playing the bagpipes (sorry I was too slow in getting a photo). And in booth after booth organizations and vendors were educating the community about their services and missions. We auctioned off three whale adoptions – two regular and one deluxe, as well as had a number of different educational activities for kids. My favorite was having children write how they are helping the marine environment and whales on the back of a humpback fluke photos and string them up for everyone to see. I also had probably more fun then i should admit to walking around with an inflatable dolphin strapped to myself – to raise awareness of course.

I even took the dolphin onto the Blessing of the Fleet which is an old tradition from Mediterranean fishing communities where vessels were blessed by a priest to ensure a safe and bountiful season. Today the blessing varies from port to port and has changed a bit over the years – so much so that the minister blessed us, our ship and our inflatable dolphin….all very cool. At 7:00 we broke down our table and displays and hustled over to Easterly which was already decorated for the Parade of Lights, a very fun event when the boats in the harbor compete for best lit decorations. Last year we won the Harbor Master’s Cup so the pressure was on, but this year we were beat by a flame throwing volcano. However we had a great time representing whales and dolphins and had an amazing, one-of-a-kind lit whale and dolphins rigged up to the boat. And of course to have a winning team everyone has to participate…… We were also very pleased to have Pine Dubios director of Jones River Landing and Meg Sheehen from Cape Cod Bay Watch with us for the Boat Parade. We recently have been working with both organizations and submitted comments asking NOAA to consider impacts to critically endangered NA right whales from the operation of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant. The plant was re-licensed in-spite of our comments, but we are committed to continuing to monitor the effects the plant has on the Cape Cod Bay which has been designated critical habitat for critically endangered right whales and is important for many other endanger cetacean species.

About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.