Award winning Irish Humpback Whale film to be broadcast on TG4 on October bank-holiday

19th Oct 2016

The Humpback Whales of Cape Verde, an Irish made film and narrated by Liam Ó Maonlaí, will be broadcast on Saturday 29th October at 7.15pm on TG4. 
Shot in Cape Verde, Ireland and Malta, The Humpback Whales of Cape Verde follows Dr Simon Berrow and an international team of marine scientists on an ambitious adventure to prove humpback whales from both the northern and southern hemispheres use the Cape Verde archipelago as a breeding ground.  
‘If we could make the connection, our understanding of humpback whale behaviour in the Atlantic would change’ says expedition leader Dr Simon Berrow. ‘Such a breeding ground would be unique. But going there in the first place at that time of year and at significant cost was a big if in itself.’   A lecturer at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) and Irish Whale & Dolphin Group (IWDG) chief science officer, Berrow believes the film will help highlight the importance of conservation in Irish waters. ‘It still comes as a surprise to many that we have whales in Ireland. In fact the numbers here are increasing each year and Ireland is becoming internationally important’ says Dr Berrow. 

‘To understand where whales in Ireland are coming from or going to and breeding is essential to protect them. This film is part of a 12 year search for the breeding grounds of humpback whales in Ireland.’ 
The broadcast of the film on TG4 coincides with the 25th anniversary of all Irish waters being declared a whale and dolphin sanctuary, the first of its kind in Europe.  
‘The sanctuary declaration was a cornerstone in Ireland’s modern relationship with whales and dolphins and its rich marine waters. It was a pioneering gesture and one which countries around the world admire, support and have followed.’ 
‘It is an international story with an Irish perspective. It’s a cracking tale. Spending time with these scientists in an extraodinary environment was a privilage’ says the film’s director Tony Whelan. ‘We hope people enjoy it. We are really happy it has been taken up by TG4, an important channel for independent filmmakers. Without them stories like this can go unseen.’ 

Further information:

Tony Whelan

Isabelle Courtney

Simon Berrow  

Film trailer here: 

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