Whale AID 2023: A Night of Music and Hope for North Atlantic Right Whales
The inaugural Whale AID concert to support Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s (WDC’s) work to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales rocked the house - literally. The brainchild of Hayden Arnot, founder of Nantucket Crisps, the concert brought together the unparalleled talent of world class musicians and artists, along with the more than 900 fans and it was both humbling and hopeful.
North Atlantic right whales are a critically endangered species, fewer than 340 remain and of those, only 70 are reproductive females - the literal lifeline for the future of this species. Once the right whale to hunt, these whales now face extinction because of unintentional human threats including a changing climate putting them at higher risk of accidental entanglements in fishing gear and vessel strikes. If nothing changes, extinction of this species is predicted as soon as 2037.
But things are changing. It was not just music that filled the venue, it was also filled with hope. My selfish escape to the green room was initially an attempt to avoid the crowd but it rapidly turned into a renewed responsibility for the work we are doing.
I spoke with Derek, the incredibly talented artist who designed the logo for the concert, who deeply cared about the work WDC is doing to trial alternative fishing gear to enable both fishing communities and whales to survive and thrive. Brad Corrigan of Dispatch turned the tables on me when I attempted to thank him for being there as he extended his genuine gratitude for the work WDC is doing to protect whales. My attempt to thank the crowd for attending was met with a very loud and extremely passionate response to saving right whales.
Knowing that our work – which is important to whales and the health of our planet – is also important to so many people who want to protect these amazing animals humbles me.
Saving right whales will take a village….and I am grateful to the entire village who made Whale AID possible.
Executive Director, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, North America
Thank you to Jonathan Russell of The Head and The Heart, Matt Quinn of Mt. Joy, Ripe, Marc Roberge of O.A.R., Brad Corrigan of Dispatch, Clyde & Gracie of Lawrence, Rayland Baxter, Adam Melchor, Max Rainer of Wilderado, Katie Pruitt, and Melt for sharing your talent with us!
A whaley big thank you to our host, Nantucket Crisps and our sponsors Faherty Brand, Goslings Rum, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Taylor Guitars, Montelobos Mezcal, and Peregon Creative!