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Sea Grant symposium to focus on endangered whales Oct. 15-16

What can North Atlantic whales tell us about our oceans and climate? How can science, law, government and policy help protect these endangered mammals?

A two-day symposium, co-hosted by the MIT Sea Grant College Program and the Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, will address these questions on Oct. 15-16.

"20-Ton Canaries: The Great Whales of the North Atlantic" begins with the 2008 MIT Sea Grant Lecture at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15, at MIT's Stata Center. The keynote speaker will be Eric Jay Dolin, author of "Leviathan: A History of Whaling in America." The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion of experts on the causes of -- and possible solutions to -- whale endangerments, ship strikes and other present-day risks.

Those experts will include Michael Moore, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Jeremy Firestone, University of Delaware; Robin Craig, Florida State University College of Law; Richard Max Strahan, Whale Safe USA; Wil Burns, Journal of International Wildlife and Policy; and Don Anton, Australian National University. Doug Fraser, a writer for the Cape Cod Times who has covered marine issues for more than a decade, will moderate.

A Q&A session and reception will follow.

From 1-6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16, at Boston College Law School, the expert panelists will discuss in greater depth the failures of current approaches to protecting whales and potential technological and legal solutions. This portion of the event will take place at Boston College Law School, Lecture Hall East Wing 120, 885 Centre St., Newton, MA.

For more information, contact Andrea Cohen, MIT Sea Grant, at 617-253-3461 or

All events are free and open to the public.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 8, 2008 (download PDF).

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