Sunday 21 March 2021 | 11

Charles Vinick, a man doing his bit for orcas

Charles Vinick, a man doing his bit for orcas

Mis à jour le 21 March 2021

This environmentalist, a specialist in the marine world, was still young when he
answered the call of the sea and of orcas. Having had the opportunity to roam the
oceans freely, he feels privileged in comparison with cetaceans held prisoner in
dolphinariums. Today he works for a better future for them. We have recorded his
testimony, which is fascinating

Hr blog

The sea is where he feels most at home. For twenty-five years Charles Vinick roamed the oceans with Captain Cousteau and his son Jean-Michel. Alongside them, he encouraged exploration of the marine world. Subsequently his skills led him to carry out many missions, all of them dedicated to the sea and the creatures living in it.

A real expert

Amongst the many hats he has worn have been those of adviser to and cofounder of the Cousteau Centres; Vice-Chairman of the Institut Jean-Michel Cousteau and of the Ocean Futures Society, which have produced educational resources and films about the ocean and the environment; President and CEO of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound; Chairman and CEO of two environmental technology societies, in Florida and Santa Barbara. Charles has also been Chairman and CEO of the Santa Barbara City College Foundation, director of training and development at TRW Inc. and executive director of adult education at the University of Southern California.

Founder of a sanctuary for captive cetaceans

Today, still full of boundless energy, Charles Vinick provides his services to the cetaceans suffering in dolphinariums. He sits on the boards of directors of Heal the Ocean and the Ocean Futures Society and in mid-2016 joined the Whale Sanctuary Project as executive director. The aim of this amazing project is to set up sanctuaries on the coasts of North America for orcas and belugas held captive by the leisure industry.

It's the incredible members of the team he led who really did 'Free Willy'

It's an enormous challenge. Whereas numerous sanctuaries provide homes for terrestrial animals liberated from circuses or zoos, there is as yet nothing comparable for marine mammals. But Charles Vinick is no novice when it comes to rehabilitating former captive cetaceans. In 2019 he took part in the scientific expedition to save the orcas and belugas held in the Baie of Srednyaya, in Russia. We immediately answered the call to help him. It must be said that Charles acquired extraordinary experience with Keiko, the most famous male orca on the planet and better known by the name of Willy in the film Free Willy. It was he who accompanied the animal, who had been snatched from his family when very young, on the long road back to the wild. An astonishing adventure, stranger than fiction … Charles told us about it in detail in this interview, which is essential listening.

translated by Patricia Fairey MCIL

Marie-Sophie Bazin
Hr blog

In the subject

The court prohibit Marineland from relocating the orcas before the end of the independent assessment Marineland: One Voice has obtained a temporary ban on moving the orcas - hearing on 16/01/2024

Comments 11

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Patricia | Wednesday 31 March 2021

J'ai vu ces orques, il y a quelques années, à Marineland et à ce moment là je me suis demandée qui nous étions, nous les hommes, pour se permettre de mettre en esclavage d'autres espèces égales à la nôtre.
Jamais je ne pensais qu'en pénétrant dans cet endroit je prendrai conscience de toute cette souffrance au milieu de ces rires et applaudissements. Ce jour là j'ai compris quelle espèce nous étions.

marie-claude | Friday 26 March 2021

Je suis avec vous M.Vinick pour que ces animaux de faune marine soient libérés et reprennent leur vie normale dans les océans!

Tosca | Friday 26 March 2021

Ces animaux ne sont pas nés pour nous divertir mais mener leur vie dans les océans et non pas survivre en bassin Vous êtes des tortionnaires!

Pandora | Thursday 25 March 2021

Je souhaite vivement que ces animaux soient délivrés et puissent vivre enfin une vie libre et heureuse où ils seront respectés comme ils le méritent ! Je pense que nous avons beaucoup à apprendre d'eux !!!