Story submitted by Ina Timmer
Back in the late '90’s I was honoured to meet the CEO of Ocean Alliance, Dr. Iain Kerr. We were in Cabo San Lucas with our friends, Mike and Sherry. They had invited Iain to the Baja to do some research on their boat, the Amber III. Sherry, our friend Gail and I, jumped into the car and the three of us drove to the airport to welcome Iain. He was delighted to be met by three women and joked and laughed with us all the way back to the boat. What an unassuming and very likeable man!
I had no idea then, how involved and well known he was in whale research nor that he worked closely with Dr. Roger Payne, who in 1967, discovered that humpback whales sing songs. Dr. Payne recorded and produced an album of whale songs that quickly sold over 100,000 copies, going multi-platinum. The album was included on the Voyager Golden Record, carrying whale songs into space, and in 2010, was inducted into the National Recording Registry.
The Ocean Alliance is a long-standing, non-profit organization doing incredible work. Their mission is to
Protect whales and their ocean environment through research, scientific collaboration, public education, and the arts.
The Ocean Alliance developed the Snotbot, a drone that flies through the blow of a whale and collects exhaled “snot” on petri dishes. This blow contains a treasure trove of valuable biological information about the animal’s health and ecology. Best of all, the whale doesn’t even know it is there: the Snotbot is a non-invasive tool that is safer for the animals and cheaper and more effective for the researchers.
In 2015, Ocean Allliance partnered with Sir Patrick Stewart, (a.k.a. Captain Jean-Luc Picard) to raise money for the program. (Watch the video below!)
Please, have a look at the Ocean Alliance website to find out more about the amazing work they do.