The Shelltone Whale Project
Several of you have been asking us, “why do we have ocean and whale photography on our feed?” After an incredible and magical encounter last week, I am taking the time today to explain why I have added these pictures and share with you an amazing project.
The ocean has been part of my life since I can remember. I spent many of my weekends and vacations swimming, surfing, scuba diving and freediving in the ocean. I know, lucky me! I have had the chance to travel and dive in beautiful places in the world and swim with beautiful species. I believe being in the deep ocean is the most peaceful and magical place on earth. In one word, the ocean is where I feel most free. One of my dream is to one day be able to freedive with humpback whales.
During the past 2 years, I have unfortunately found more and more plastic (straws, bottles, cups…), fishes captured in trash nets, and corals broken by metal barrels in our ocean. Oceans are the oxygen of our earth, and I believe we need to do more to protect them.
As we all know, fashion is the second most polluting industry on our planet. In an article we shared in October, Samantha Leigh explains very clearly how fashion deeply affects our oceans. This is why at DOU.K, we made the choice to only use natural fibers. We will share with you very soon an article about all our fabrics. This is the reason we often post pictures of the ocean and it’s beautiful inhabitants.
Today, I want to share an amazing project: The Shelltone Whale Project. Last week in Guadeloupe, we had the chance to embark on the boat of Pierre Lavagne de Castellan. Pierre is a marine biologist specialising in the study of the cetaceans. He arrived in Guadeloupe 5 years ago to work on a very special project, reconnecting humpback whales to humans. As he explained to us, humpback whales used to have connections to humans using their songs. This very special relationship between whales and humans have been known for millenniums.
Sadly today, this relationship does not exist anymore in the region of the Caribbean since 1492… Humpback Whales travel to the Caribbean, every year from February to May, to enjoy the warm water after the birth of their babies. Every single morning for the past 5 years, Pierre and his team, take to the sea to study the behaviors and listen for dolphins, sperm whales, pilot whales and of course humpback whales. “The mission of Shelltone Whale Project is to play, improvise and co-write music with whales, sublimating through this common creation the fundamentals of interspecies communication.”
Pierre has started a relationship with all these species, based on trust and mutual respect. He told us countless stories about his interactions with the cetaceans. It was amazing to learn whales can impact the level of protein in plankton through sound, and that another sound can “clean” the ocean to prepare the arrival of the babies whales. Scientists have taught farmers to use whale music to help grow their produce instead of using hormones and pesticides.
After 3 years of a daily presence on the sea, humpback whales have started to interact with Pierre, responding to some of his sounds. The past 2 years, males whales (only males can sing - females can only produce sound) came to Shelltone Whales Project to interact with them. The team play a song to the whales created, by combining together the songs that the humpback whales have offered for the past 2 years.
Pierre’s goal is to reconnect the people from Guadeloupe with their whales, especially the children. He is collaborating with a music school to create an orchestra of young musicians who will learn whale music and then will take them to the sea to play music to the Humpback Whales.
We enjoyed discovering The Shelltone Whale Project so much, that we wanted to share it with you. This project is based on true respect, trust, humanity, ecology and of course Humpback Whales. Unfortunately, we did not have the chance to observe them last week. They were out of eyesight, a little bit far as Pierre told us listening at his underwater microphone. We were lucky enough to watch dolphins and pilot whales!
A big thank you to Pierre and his team for this magical morning. Thank you for what you do. We deeply believe that you will reach your goal!
To support and learn more our The Shelltone Whale Project, visit their website.