BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 10 Feb '15

THE WORLD’S BIGGEST WHALE AND DOLPHIN FESTIVAL RETURNS TO BRIGHTON

In 2011 Ian Rowlands and Dylan Walker had a dream: to create the biggest, most popular event of its kind and touch the hearts and minds of a huge audience. The goal of WhaleFest was to inspire an army of ambassadors to defend whales, dolphins, marine life and oceans.

WhaleFest is now a renowned international celebration of wild whales, dolphins and marine life that brings together charities, NGOs, tour operators, whale watchers and families.

Featuring virtual whale watching, shark zones, celebrity speakers, educational workshops and loads of other activities, the festival is set to offer something for visitors of all ages.

The festival will take place at The Brighton Centre on the weekend of 14-15 March 2015.

A global gathering

‘Every single day 1,000 whales and dolphins are killed from what we do to our oceans. Some countries still hunt them. Many are taken into captivity. Intelligent, sociable, emotional, long lived, they are just like us, yet population declines and extinctions loom for these public-friendly icons of a fast-collapsing marine ecosystem.

‘WhaleFest is the global gathering that gives whales and dolphins a more powerful voice. By being popular and entertaining we can touch the hearts and minds of an audience of millions of people and impact on the world’s decision makers.’

Ian Rowlands, co-founder of WhaleFest

Celeb guests

TV presenter, adventurer and author Steve Backshall is this year’s guest director of WhaleFest. He’ll be sharing tales of his adventures filming and freediving with whales around the world.

Other guest speakers include award-winning TV presenter Michaela Strachan, wildlife cameraman and TV presenter Gordon Buchanan, adventurer and broadcaster Monty Halls, famous campaigner for dolphins and star of the Cove, Ric O’Barry and former SeaWorld trainer and star of the movie Blackfish, John Hargrove.

The two-day festival, which attracts over 15,000 visitors from all over the world, has grown rapidly over the last few years. It’s now run by a small team and over 500 amazing volunteers, with profits going to the World Cetacean Alliance, a global partnership of organisations working together.

Visit the WhaleFest website to book tickets and find out more about the festival.