ACS Conference: “Conflicted Relationship” Between Whales and Humans

Written by on November 12, 2012 in Other News, Policy & Ocean Law
Right whale mother and calf.

Right whale mother and calf. Photo Credit: NOAA.

The 2012 American Cetacean Society (ACS) Conference “Whales and Humans: A Conflicted Relationship” came to a close yesterday in San Diego, California.

The conference brought together the world’s top cetacean (whales, dolphins and porpoises) researchers, policy makers and conservationist in an effort to understand and improve the complex relationship that has long existed between humans and cetaceans.

ACS conferences are not limited to the scientific community; ACS encourages anyone to attend, as the goal of the conference is to promote thoughtful dialog about whales, from policy to education and to inspire and motivate the attendees to protect the world’s cetaceans.

Conference Highlights:

Special guest speaker: Charles “Flip” Nicklin, wildlife photographer and author of “Among Giants: A History with Whales”

  • Nicklin was one of the first photographers to swim with whales in their natural environment and is widely recognized as the premier whale photographer of the world.  He is a National Geographic contributing photographer and avid diver.  Part of Nicklin’s ability to photograph whales so well comes from his ability to free dive to depths of up to 90 feet–he can swim with the whales without the noise associated with scuba gear.
  • Check out his book from Whale Trust Publications

Keynote speaker: Frans de Waal, C.H. Chandler Professor of Primate Behavior at Emory University, and director of Living Links, Yerkes National Primate Research Center

  • Dr. de Waal, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, discussed The Prosocial Side of Animal Behavior and the Role of Empathy.  His work focuses on understanding the roots of moral behavior in animals.  His book, “The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lesson for a Kinder Society” suggests that we might have something to learn from other animals, as their kindness is not motivated by selfishness.
  • Check out his book, here.
Bottlenose dolphin.

Bottlenose dolphin. Photo credit: NASA.

Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. She is also a PADI diver and dog lover. .

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