September 20, 2016

Whaling Symposium to Explore Cultural and Genealogical Ties Between New England and the Alaskan Arctic

The history that will forever connect two coasts in culture, education, and science

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – The New Bedford Whaling Museum is hosting a portion of an upcoming, three-day conference on the interconnectedness of New England and the Alaskan Arctic. On Monday, September 26 through Wednesday, September 28 attendees will explore, hear stories, learn lessons and draw insights from longstanding connections among whales, the marine environment, and human well-being in New England, Alaska, and the Arctic.

The three-day conference will incorporate multiple significant whaling sites in New England including Nantucket on September 26, Martha’s Vineyard on September 27, and New Bedford on September 28. The conference activities at the New Bedford Whaling Museum will take place from 9 am to 6:30 pm. For conference details and registration information click here, go to or call 508-997-0046.

In 19th century Alaska and the Arctic, Yankee and Inupiat whaling traditions coalesced, as whalers shared technology, traditions and local knowledge. This conference commemorates the whaling heritage that shaped communities and traditions along the coasts of western and northern Alaska.

Presentation and roundtable topics will include: Current Challenges in Arctic Sustainable Development and Ocean Conservation; Science, Values, and a Living Ocean; and Entanglement, Ship Strikes and Noise – Threats and Solutions for Whales, People, and the Environment.

For many years, the two regions have cooperated and collaborated to minimize human impacts on whales and other marine species. The conference is bringing together leaders from both regions to highlight historic and contemporary inter-dependence among whales, coastal communities and marine habitats.  Plenary sessions will identify emerging challenges; envision new collaborations to protect marine ecosystems and species; and efforts to preserve coastal communities and culture.

The conference is presented by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Nantucket Historical Association, Cape Cod Maritime Museum, National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Center, Alaska Community Foundation, Alaska Humanities Forum, University of Alaska, and the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Contact: Tina Malott
Communications Manager
New Bedford Whaling Museum
508-997-0046 Ext. 140 (office)

About the New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of human interaction with whales through time, and the history and culture of the South Coast region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. Museum hours April through December: Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum is open until 8 p.m. every second Thursday of the month. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Admission is free for Museum members and children aged three and under; adults $16, seniors (65+) $14, students (19+) $9, child and youth $6. Visit