2017 has been a hard year. Globally we’ve seen an increasing number of stories detailing ship strikes, mass stranding’s, entanglements, and other unexplained cetacean deaths while locally the Southern resident orca population was missing from our waters for weeks or even months at a time and we had to say goodbye to J2, J52, and K13. As Whale Tales prepares for its third anniversary it seems we’re being reminded every day about the incredible need for passionate environmentalists and enthusiasts to connect with each other, share their cetacean stories, and take action to try and help save our oceans, and all of the creatures who live there.
Your enthusiasm and support for our program continues to blow us away. We love love LOVE to read your stories and we’re so excited to have added our 350th tale to our library this summer. We now have almost 375 stories saved in our stacks (and so many more to put up!) and you can read about anything big or small, from blue whales to harbour porpoises. Orcas do continue to be a storyteller, and story-reader, favourite and thanks to you we have over 50 killer whale tales to choose from. Some of you were even able to hear a few tales in person this year at our third SeaTalk with partner organization SIMRES and the ever-amazing Caitlin Birdsall.
We continue to be honoured and inspired by all of our storytellers, including the two new regular contributors who joined us this year: Brendon Bissonnette and the Porpoise Conservation Society. We couldn’t do this without you.
And we also couldn’t do this without our fans. You are WHY we do this and watching your excitement grow this year has been what’s kept us going. For example, we can’t believe we reached 10,000 Instagram followers this Spring! Gracy Guiney was the winner of our #whaletales10k contest but each and every one of you is a winner in our books and we’re so grateful to have you as a part of our community. It’s the strength and dedication of this community that inspired us to create our new series of posts and blogs: #talesofsavingwhales. If you haven’t checked them out yet please do and don’t hesitate to share your tale with us!
For the past three years we’ve worked to create a safe space where people can not only share their whale tales but where they can share, and consume, information. We aim to use all of our social media platforms to help connect you to our whale tale library and provide you with one of many access points to the cetacean research community. The news stories and research projects we share are selected because we care deeply about the health of our oceans and we know you do too. We also believe that informing yourself, thinking critically about the information you read, and deciding what you are going to DO with that that information, has never been more important than it is today. So, whether you’re one of the 375 people tweeting at us on Twitter, the 2100 people following us on Facebook, or the 16, 225 (!) people joining us on Instagram we hope that you enjoy your daily dose of whale, dolphin, and porpoise passion and we hope that you continue to connect with us and each other, share your stories, and do whatever you can do to save the whales. We’ll be right there with you!
From the tip of our fluke to the top of our blow, thank you for such an amazing 3 years. Now bring on 2018!