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The visual petition is really an effort to show our connection to the sentient beings that live in the ocean, in showing that connection, we develop empathy towards them. If we have no feelings, no empathy, we as a species, simple do not care of their fate or well being beyond how can we exploit them. If we can have a "experience" of connection we will change towards a more equitable relationship, in short, we start to care about them. Look at how we care for our pets.
We describe the future often as "the vision for the future is...". We think in pictures, images of our experience.
Art therefore has the potential to bring new images into our "vision", our personal and collective view of the world.
My art is about sowing "seeds of dreams" that will allow us all to vision a world of connection with ourselves, mankind and the sentient beings that live on this earth with us. When we see the future as one illustrating a "relationship" with the dolphins, the whales, etc. we will start to care about them. That is why I have people with the animals in my art. It shows that it is possible to connect with them, to be with them, to see / go beyond a relationship based only on exploitation.
That is the purpose of my art... to show that it is possible to connect with these animals, to have a real meaningful relationship, to care. When we begin to care we will begin to change.
This is the right eye of a baby humpback whale of the eastern Australian migration who was stranded on a Northern New South Wales beach July 17th, 2006.
Despite seeming perfectly healthy, fully alert and keen to return to the sea and her family, the little whale became the victim of a bureaucratic bungle that saw the 'authorities' ordering her removal from the returning sea and placed beyond the high tide mark where she suffered a total of 20 debilitating hours, laying on hard sand and kept from ever returning to the sea.
Still alert, patiently awaiting a 'rescue', she was denied the right to be put back to sea and it was it was decided by a marine vet to administer lethal injections. The decision was a controversial one and many questions still remained unanswered.
Ceremony was held for the Cabarita calf a year later at the site of her ordeal and the next day near the site of her burial.
Now the little whale lives on as people around the world hold up her timeless eye that reflects her spirit and the compassion of all cetaceans.
Further information on the Cabarita Calf
Howie Cooke is one of the founders of Minds in the Water and the Visual Petition, and is also co-founder of the Surfers for Cetaceans organisation. Howie has contributed his beautiful artwork for use in the Visual Petition.
Dan Burns is a PhD candidate at Southern Cross University studying the southern migration of humpback whales off Byron Bay / Ballina with a particular focus on migratory movements and timing, abundance, group characteristics and association patterns.
Dan has kindly donated some of his humpback photos for use with the petition.
Liz has kindly donated the images of some of her researched dolphins to use with the visual petition.
Since 2001, Liz Hawkins has been studying the bottlenose dolphin population of Byron Bay, New South Wales.
Her PhD work has uncovered the population abundance, social dynamics, behavioural budget and acoustic repertoire of these bottlenose dolphins. Liz's work focuses on the use of acoustics during behavioural displays in an attempt to understand the fundamental characteristics of the bottlenose dolphin communication systems.
This basic knowledge of dolphin ecology is essential in order to understand and assess the impacts of human activities on dolphin populations. Liz's work also assessed the influence of vessels (motor, yacht, kayak and surfer) on the behaviour and acoustics of bottlenose dolphins (specifically dolphin group cohesion).
Results to date have revealed some basic information on this population and their ecology, however, more is needed in order to understand the requirements of dolphin survival. What are the essential elements in the lives of dolphins that must remain intact in order to sustain their survival and well being? What human activities and influences on the marine environment can be improved to assist in the protection and conservation of these magestic animals?
Research will continue into the future to uncover more of the mysteries of the dolphins and improve on the human practices that may detrimentally impact their livelihood.
All of the dolphins featured in these photos are from Byron Bay, northern New South Wales. They are of the resident and transient dolphins that inhabit the coastal area of this stunning region.
The bottlenose dolphin population of this region is one of the largest in the world. These dolphins are representative of the true nature of dolphins, the way their lives should be lived. They are free to go about their daily lives relatively undisturbed with no threat of direct slaughter or harvesting from the ultimate predators, humans. These dolphins belong to a population that are much loved and cherished by the local community that strive to protect them and maintain a respectful relationship with them.
Researchers and the community alike monitor the local population of dolphins to ensure they are protected and conserved for future generations.
Dean Jefferys is a tireless campaigner for the protection of the Earth and it's creatures, having been in the front line of Australian Environmental and Peace demonstrations for years. Dean is currently working on "Flight of the Humpback" a documentary which follows the Australian migration of the endangered humpback whales.
Dean has always lent us support and has contributed information and articles to this website.
Cathy has always loved and painted wildlife, but developed a strong passion for whales during the first round of trying to "Save the Whales." After changing jobs and life to move to Cape Cod, Cathy became a whale watch naturalist...
She would hold a captive audience of 150 people, 3 times a day to teach about whales and get them to sign petitions and write letters. Cathy has also painted whale murals on the outside and inside of restaurants and businesses throughout the Northeast of the US and on whale watch boats.
She is totally dedicated to putting her efforts into finally ending the barbarity of whaling.