In an unprecedented 6000 mile journey over sea, land, and air, two Beluga Whales named ‘Little Grey’ and ‘Little White’ are making their way from Shanghai to their new home at the Sea Life Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary in Iceland, and in a brand partnership brought together by sponsorship agency Reg & Co. – Olympus’ has commissioned renowned photographer Tesni Ward to document the journey from China to Iceland as part of their sponsorship as official photography partner.
Backed by a generous donation from Merlin Entertainments, The Sea Life Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary is the first whale sanctuary in the world and the sanctuary is one of the biggest developments in captive dolphin and whale care and protection in many decades.
In the long-term, it is intended that the project will lead to the rehabilitation of further captive whales into more natural environments and that one day in the future, we will see an end to dolphin and whale entertainment shows.
The Sanctuary in Iceland comprises of a large bay area measuring 32,000 sqm and dives down over 10 metres plus includes a landside care facility and visitor centre. It is set in a stunning natural sea inlet in Klettsvik Bay and provides a large amount of space for the belugas to swim, explore and deep dive.
Klettsvikk Bay is relatively secluded and offers protection from the sometimes harsh Icelandic weather with pontoons acting as wave attenuators, to dampen any sea swell coming into the bay. The natural geology of the bay enables the Sea Life Trust to monitor and assess the beluga whales on a regular basis as it will be enclosed by netting from the surface to the bottom of the bay and with pontoons providing access for the beluga care team to look after Little White and Little Grey. Should either of the Belugas need some individual care, then the pontoons also include small enclosures to allow for this.
The sponsorship deal between Olympus and the Sea Life Trust was brokered by Reg & Co. and allows for Olympus and the Sea Life Trust to work together on telling this incredible story, and through world-class photographer Tesni Ward, Olympus will be documenting one of the most important transitions in whale and dolphin care.
As part of the sponsorship activation, Tesni will also do a Q&A on social media for the Sea Life Trust and a selection of short social media videos around the photoshoot. After the journey has been completed, a hardback book documenting the journey will be published and for sale at Sea Life centres and through the Olympus gallery, the proceeds of which will be donated to the sanctuary and the Sea Life Trust.
For more information, contact Karen Morris at Reg & Co. sponsorship agency.
UPDATE June 24, 2019: Following a spate of forecast bad weather, the Whales are finally on the move and the whole team is excited to see them reach the sanctuary.