Cetacean Society International

Whales Alive!

Vol. VII No. 2 April 1998


"Whales Alive" Conference Report

by Don Sineti, CSI Past President


Presented at the CSI annual membership meeting on 27 January 1998. In addition to being CSI's first President, Don Sineti is also an outstanding singer of sea shanties and other traditional folk songs, as well as a highly renowned whale artist.

ALOHA! The 1998 Whales Alive Conference took place at the Four Seasons Resort, Wailea, Maui, Hawaii between January 15-18, 1998. Organized by Carol and Stan Butler, this was the sixth annual conference. Whales Alive is a project of Earth Island Institute. This conference is noted for its effects on the mind and spirit. As Dr. Paul Spong said, "Who could turn down an invitation to come to Maui." We all felt that way.

The subjects covered ranged from the local (humpback whale sanctuary in Hawaii) to global (the Irish Proposal), science, conservation and politics. Areas of concern included the before mentioned "Irish Proposal", "The blurring between true aboriginal whale hunts and coastal whaling", "Captive Cetaceans", and "Dolphin-Tuna". As for myself, besides the listed time on the schedule, I performed on the whale watch, at the reception and throughout the conference. I was kept very busy but needless to say I enjoyed it.

I really want to share the following with you. Whale watching is now held, by almost all, to be of great value in the efforts to create awareness about cetaceans and protect them and their environment. CSI and Robbins Barstow, in particular, are recognized as leading the way on this issue. Some feel Iceland may be moving away from whaling. Whale watching and the "save the whales" movement in Iceland are gaining ground.

At this time I want to thank Bill Rossiter, Robbins Barstow, Brent Hall and Kate O'Connell for the materials, flyers and newsletters they provided. They proved very popular with those attending the conference. In return I brought back similar publications. I made up three packets, one for Bill, Rob and Kate. I am sure they will be happy to share this information with all interested. Bill took great time and effort to prepare a report on the Navy's LFA sonar. This report was of great interest to a number of people.

One cannot attend a meeting like Whales Alive without the realization that progress has been made but many new hurdles are before us. We do not just "Save the Whale", we have to "Save the Whale" over and over again. This is indeed the great challenge to "Save the Whale" every day.

In closing all should know that CSI is highly and warmly regarded. I want to thank you all for your kindness and support. MAHALO!


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