In 1967, the biologist Roger Payne discovered mysterious, unusuals sounds in the ocean that he described as "exuberant, uninterrupted rivers of sound." What he soon found out was that the sounds were produced by none other than the ocean's largest inhabitants: whales.
Payne released some of these recordings in 1970 as an LP called "Songs of the Humpback Whale." The groundbreaking collection was an instant hit: it rocketed to the top of the charts, and kicked off the momentum for the "Save the Whales" movement. The LP, which sold over 100,000 copies, was one of the most important elements in gaining global public exposure for whales.
Now, Payne, who created the organization Ocean Alliance in 1971, is focusing his momentum on another marine mammal issue: the dolphin drive hunt in Taiji, Japan. The annual hunt, which is going on right now, has already led to the slaughter of over 130 cetaceans (dolphins and whales) this year. Payne published an open letter to Japan calling for an end to the brutal hunt. A portion of it reads: