On June 17th & 18th, I was the guest of the National Aquarium in Baltimore for a screening and lecture of Island of the Great White Shark. Like many of the aquariums I have visited, this is a marvelous, proactive organization with a very dedicated staff. I had the opportunity to swap stories with Chuck Eicholtz, the Aquarium's dive safety officer, and Alan Henningsen, fish research specialist and resident shark expert.
Suzanne Ebbert and Polly Yanick of the membership department kept my itinerary full and I had a marvelous opportunity to tour the Center of Marine Biotechnology (COMB) to witness first hand the progress they are making in replenishing the regional Blue Crab population through aquaculture. A mainstay of the Chesapeake Bay, the blue crab population has diminished by as much as 80% through over-fishing. The efforts of COMB to rebuild the breeding population hold great promise.
On Tuesday, the 17th, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by the FOX 45 Morning Show to promote the Wednesday night screening. Click on this Fox 45 news link.
The screening was well-attended and the Aquarium has a fantastic theater - great picture and incredible sound. The audience included Aquarium board members (many thanks to Lee Riley for the introduction), Aquarium staff, volunteers, and members, and the "just curious." For some, I think the film and follow-up discussion helped to dispel a few myths. For others, it stoked the fire in their engine for shark conservation. The best compliment I received was relayed to me by Suzanne Ebbert, Director of Membership, who told me people approached her saying, “This is why we joined the aquarium as members, for programs like this.”
My thanks to the Marjorie Lynn Bank Lecture Series for supporting this event.
Upcoming screening: July 17th @ Harvard Museum of Natural History w/Dr. John Mandelman