January 26, 2021 @ 6:30 pm – January 29, 2021 @ 8:30 pm

Whalefest is digital for 2021! 🐳

Whalefest Monterey 2021 is a free virtual video event held over four evenings, January 26-29, 2021 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. In place of the traditional scientific Symposium, exhibits, entertainment and activities around Fisherman’s Wharf; each night’s program features a variety of fascinating talks and cutting-edge presentations by world-renowned scientists; videos from local marine, environment and sustainability-oriented non-profits sharing their goals, research and activities; history walks, arts and crafts demonstrations, an eclectic array of mostly original music performances, and more for all ages.

The event will be live-streamed each night. For links, go to the Whalefest page at www.montereywharf.com. 

Afterwards, it will be posted on the Whalefest You Tube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkT222sMxS9PK30L7_3_Crg?sub_confirmation=1


About the program  

This year’s program will have presentations about Minke whales, dolphins and porpoises, leatherback turtles, intertidal gastropods, orcas, and amazing creatures from the deep sea. Other topics cover new ways to prevent whale entanglements, the latest developments in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the connection between vineyards and the ocean environment. A final treat explains the art and science of whale song and how to compose with whales.

Local non-profits will share their research and activities covering marine mammal rescues, tiny creatures in Elkhorn Slough, mighty condors in Big Sur, sea otters, and killer whales. Learn how to get involved in beach cleanups, learn to surf, or operate underwater ROVs.

Local history will come alive with stories about the native people of Monterey, the whaling days, fishing and the sardine industry, and all about abalone, including a tour of today’s abalone farm. Arts and craft demonstrations illustrate the art of scrimshaw and the ancient Japanese way of gyotaku.

Musicians provide original entertainment in between presentations and there will be lots of gorgeous footage of local sea mammals to view.  See the Whalefest Monterey page for a list of these award-winning musicians.


The Schedule:

Day 1 – January 26, 6:30 – 7:30 pm PST
Opening, Introductions
Kevin Grant, acting Superintendent for NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
“An overview of current efforts of staff and partners”
Karin Forney, Ph.D., NOAA Fisheries
“Cryptic Criters off the California Coast: Harbor Porpoises, Leatherbacks and Lesser-Known Dolphins”
The Marine Mammal Center “Rescuing Sick and Injured Marine Mammals”
7:30 – 8:30 PST
Ventana Wildlife Society “California Condors and the Marine Environment”
Music – Michael Martinez
Ari Friedlaender, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz
“Hidden in the Ice: Uncovering the Secret Lives of Antarctic Minke Whales”
Closing Remarks
Music – WWF Jazz Trio

Day 2 – January 27, 6:30 – 7:30 PST
Opening, Introductions
Stephanie Marcos & Victoria Wade, Marine Life Studies
“Recent Trends in the Ecology of Transient Killer Whales in Monterey Bay, California 2006-2018 and a
special encounter with a white killer whale”
Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve “The Slough’s Macroinvertebrates”
Sea Otter Savvy “Sharing Space with Sea Otters”
Tim Thomas “History of Italian and Japanese Fishing in Monterey”
Music – Monterey International featuring Mike Marotta, Dave Dally and Oracio Aiello
Gyotaku and Origami Arts and Crafts Demonstrations
7:30 – 8:30 PST
Tim Thomas “History of Abalone in Monterey Bay”
Visit to Monterey Abalone Farm
Music – Johnah and the Whalewatchers Reggae, Michael Martinez & Nick Fettis
Monterey Bay Aquarium “White Sharks Project”
Allison Gong, Ph.D., Cabrillo College
“A Farmer, a Hitch-hiker, and a Worm Impersonator Walk into a Bar: A Trio of Intertidal Gastropods in
Monterey Bay”
Getting involved:
Save Our Shores
California Coastal Commission
American Cetacean Society
Closing Remarks
Music – Monterey International featuring Mike Marotta, Dave Dally and Oracio Aiello

Day 3 – January 28, 6:30 – 7:30 PST
Opening, Introductions
For our younger audience:
“Walter the Whale”
“Sea Otter Savvy Song”
Save the Whales “Tour of Dee the inflatable model whale”
Monterey Bay Aquarium “Rey the Penguin goes on an Adventure”
The Wahine Project – Activities
Seafloor Science ROV “Opening Doors for Young Explorers”
Chad King, Ph.D., Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
“Review of October 2020 Expedition to Davidson Seamount and the Octopus’s Garden”
7:30 – 8:30 PST
NOAA documentaries: “Nautilus Mt. Davison Seamount”, “Whale Fall”
Music – Richard Carr, Louis Colaianni
Eric Wente, Wente Vineyards
“Agriculture, the Marine Environment and Sustainability”
California Killer Whale Project
Closing Remarks
Music – Dave Holodiloff & Michale Martinez

Day 4 – January 29, 6:30 – 7:30 PST
Opening, Introductions
Tim Thomas –The Rumsien, Native People of Monterey, and History of Whaling in Monterey
Art of Scrimshaw demonstration
Peggy Stap, Marine Life Studies
“Saving Whales from Life-threatening Entanglements – the Whale Entanglement Team (WET)ÂŽ and
updates on recent entanglements and projects”
NOAA documentaries: “Ocean Guardians”, “Elephant Seals”, ”Harbor Seals”
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History “Sandy the Whale”
Music – Mads Tolling
7:30 – 8:30 PST
John Ryan, Ph.D. & Nick Fettis
“The Art and Science of Whalesong”
Closing Remarks
Music – Nick Fettis