The daylong event, which features some of the world’s leading whale experts, researchers and authors, is free and open to the public.
This will be the first ever symposium in the 30 year history of the Maui Whale Festival, which last year drew 15,000 locals and visitors.
In his talk at the historic center of whaling, Abrams will show how pollution is the new harpoon, but this deadly hazard doesn’t just kill whales. He will call attention to the important fact that whales are not yet saved and face a growing range of ecological dangers that threaten all ocean animals and even humans.
Abrams’ novel is a fact-based thriller, and the author worked with many of the world’s leading marine biologists and eco-toxicologists. He will present some shockingly true facts on which it is based and the unusual connections between them: Childhood cancer is up by 26 percent, making cancer the greatest threat to children; One in three women will develop cancer; One in two men will develop cancer; male fish across the country are developing eggs; whales are washing onshore dead and their bodies are so contaminated that they must be treated like toxic waste.
What is happening to us? What is happening to our world? Abrams will address these questions and reveal the journey that took him around the world—recording whale behavior and song, meeting modern day whalers, meeting leading eco-toxicologists—as he was researching his novel. He will also share some of the breakthroughs in understanding whale communication that were actually discovered by scientists as he was writing.
Eye of the Whale is a captivating ecological thriller about Elizabeth McKay, a marine biologist who risks everything to rescue a trapped whale and discover the meaning of its mysterious song. As nefarious forces seek to stop her, she discovers the true impact of toxins and the danger they pose to ourselves, our children, and the planet as a whole.
Eye of the Whale author Douglas Carlton Abrams records whale songs with marine biologist Libby Eyre in Tonga.