Humpback Whale calf on its side Clinton Hastings

Dawn chorus of whale song wakes Whitehall

2 minute read

Victoria Riglen, Head of Communications and Campaigns

26 Oct 2021

Press release

Marine charities call on UK Government to listen to the ocean at COP26

Humpback Whale Maui Maui Topical Images.

Credit: Maui Topical Images via Shutterstock

  • Marine Conservation Society and Whale and Dolphin Conservation to deliver ‘wake-up call from the ocean’
  • Charities calling for the ocean to be recognised as powerful tool in fighting climate crisis
  • “Wake-up to the Ocean” brings whale and ocean sounds together in an arresting soundtrack

On the morning of 26th October, with just a few days before COP26 begins in Glasgow, ocean charities the Marine Conservation Society and Whale and Dolphin Conservation are coming together to deliver a wake-up call from the ocean.

The charities will bring a dawn chorus of whale song and ocean sounds to the heart of Whitehall - giving voice to the ocean and the need to protect and invest in it.

Wake-up to the Ocean has been developed by acclaimed sound artist Dom Jones, working with producers Lavish. It is inspired by Roger Payne’s 1970 album Songs of the Humpback Whale which galvanized the global Save the Whale movement and supports the One Ocean Flotilla campaign to get governments and policymakers to #ListenToTheOcean.

Both charities are urging world leaders to recognise the ocean as the planet’s greatest natural asset, and put it at the heart of climate conversations in Glasgow. The Marine Conservation Society and Whale and Dolphin Conservation are calling for a drastic increase in climate finance to be spent on ocean recovery.

Seaweed Fifeness Scotland James Lynott

Credit: James Lynott

Sandy Luk, Chief Executive of the Marine Conservation Society: “We're sending a wake-up call to UK Government and giving a voice to our incredible ocean. We’re all inhabitants of a blue planet, so how is our ocean – which covers more than 70% of the earth and absorbs and stores a quarter of our carbon emissions – still largely overlooked as a vital solution to the climate crisis? It's time for world leaders to at last recognise the incredible power of our ocean and act to protect and restore it.”

Chris Butler-Stroud, Chief Executive of Whale and Dolphin Conservation: “We must stop treating the ocean as a cross between a blank cheque and a landfill site and start protecting it as if our lives depend on it - because they do. From the greatest whales to the tiniest phytoplankton we rely on the ocean and the lives it contains as our life support system. That’s why, in the run-up to COP26, we wanted to send a wake-up call to the government - a dawn chorus of whale song and ocean sounds to remind them that we cannot solve the climate crisis without protecting the ocean.”

Ami Cadillac, Creative Director and multi- media artist from Lavish: “I am struck by the fact that the ocean generates every second breath of oxygen that we take here on land. That without whales, or the ocean we humans simply cannot survive. In response to this and to the ocean's urgent need for our protection I wanted to create a way to give the ocean a 'voice' - one that can be activated by anyone, anywhere and at any time. Wake Up to the ocean does just that.”