As a gesture of support for my work, friends and their children flocked to WhaleFest this year. I immediately started to hear amazing stories about how they were acting on the information they'd heard at the event: my friend's seven year old son did a spontaneous talk to his classmates about the problems that orca face in captivity; another friend's five year old daughter became interested in the plight of Maui's dolphins, which are close to extinction (only 55 left), and started to question the fishing practices that are causing these small cetaceans to become entangled in nets; another friend changed her family holiday so that it no longer involved a trip to SeaWorld. As a result of their support for me their interest in the plight of cetaceans had been kindled.
The acclaimed documentary Blackfish, about the issues that orca face in captivity, has added a new dimension to communicating my enthusiasm for only watching cetaceans in the wild. I've gently encouraged friends and family to watch Blackfish and slowly but surely most of them are getting around to it. The most surprising reaction to Blackfish was from my close relatives, who have also enjoyed many encounters with wild dolphins. They were moved so much by the documentary that on a recent flight to Florida they felt a strong urge to tell everyone to watch Blackfish and to boycott SeaWorld. Fortunately their own Mid-Atlantic protest only took place in their heads and I didn't have to collect them from the air marshall! More recently a friend wanted to take her son to the cinema to see a dolphin movie. He refused to go on ethical grounds because the dolphins in the film are in captivity; my protégé.