14th Annual Whalefest Monterey Updates

14th Annual Whalefest Monterey to be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, 2024 on and around Old Fisherman’s Wharf and the Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park


New! One-Day Symposium to be held at the nearby Stanton Center on Sunday, April 14th and Interactive Exhibits on Custom House Plaza on Saturday, April 13th


“The Monterey Bay Whale Watching Capital of the World”  


November 20, 2023. Monterey, CA. Save the date for the 14th Annual Whalefest Monterey to be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, 2024 from 10 am - 5 pm each day.


This "edutaining" free family friendly event will be held at and around Old Fisherman’s Wharf and the Custom House Plaza - Monterey State Historic Park. It includes fun and educational activities for all ages, musicians, and dozens of fascinating marine-related interactive exhibits by numerous local and national organizations. In addition, we will have several research and rescue boats available for public tours.


Whalefest Monterey benefits many local and national marine organizations that educate, inspire, and empower the public to protect the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS).


New This Year! The event’s traditional Symposium with world-renowned marine experts and historians this year will move to the state-of-the-art theatre at the Monterey History & Art Stanton Center, 5 Custom House Plaza, adjacent to Old Fisherman’s Wharf on Sunday, April 14th.   The interactive marine-themed exhibits will be on Saturday, April 13th all day. Live music and engaging activities such as Gyotaku, Scrimshaw, and the “almost famous” Abalone Races and more will be available on both April 13th and 14th on Old Fisherman’s Wharf.


Mary Alice Cerrito Fettis, the Director of Whalefest Monterey, expresses her excitement, stating, "We're thrilled to offer attendees the opportunity to explore all the exhibits on Saturday and then dive into the Symposium on Sunday this year! This ensures that participants get the full spectrum of the event, all while relishing the fantastic live music by local musicians and engaging in special activities on both amazing days!"


Be sure to check out the prior Symposium presentations from 2023 and earlier at Whalefest.org and on the Whalefest YouTube channel.


Whalefest Monterey will feature many educational and engaging displays from local, regional and national non-profits that previously included among others:


American Cetacean Society


California Coastal Commission


Camp SEA Lab


Community Builders for Monterey County


Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve


Greenfield Community Science Workshop


Marine Life Studies


Monterey Bay Aquarium Underwater Explorers


Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary MBNMS


Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History


Santa Catalina Middle School


Save Our Shores


Save the Whales/MontereySEA


Sea Otter Savvy


Seafloor Science ROV


Sea Shepherd Conservation Society


Squid 4 Kids


Surfrider Foundation


Sustainability Office, City of Monterey


The Marine Mammal Center


The Wahine Project


Ventana Wildlife Society


Yacht Club - Monterey Peninsula


(Note: Subject to change.)

New exhibitors are added every year!

Whale watchers come from around the world to view hundreds of whales, orcas, dolphins and pelicans who come to feast on a “krill and anchovy buffet” in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Throughout the year, this Whale Watching Capital of the World offers sightings of 15 species of whales, 10 species of dolphins, 2 species of porpoise, 6 species of pinnipeds and 1 species of Fissiped (sea otter).


Whalefest Monterey is supported annually by many outstanding sponsors including the Arts Council for Monterey County, thanks to support from the Monterey County Board of Supervisors; Fisherman’s Wharf Association, Monterey State Historic Park, Marine Life Studies, Monterey Bay Aquarium, National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation,Save the Whales and numerous business sponsors.


Media sponsors have included KSBW TV Action News 8, Central Coast ABC, Estrella TV Costa Central, Coast Weekly, Foolish Times, Monterey Bay Parent, KMBY, KAZU, Monterey Herald and the Shagbag Radio Show.


Sponsorships are available.  Please contact Mary Alice Cerrito Fettis at [email protected] for more details.


About NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries


Serving as the trustee for 14 national marine sanctuaries and two marine national monuments, NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary System encompasses more than 600,000 square miles of protected marine and Great Lakes waters. Few places on the planet can compete with the diversity of the system, which protects America's most iconic natural and cultural marine resources. The system works with diverse partners and stakeholders to promote responsible, sustainable ocean uses that ensure the health of our most valued ocean places. A healthy ocean is the basis for thriving recreation, tourism and commercial activities that drive coastal economies. Backed by one of the nation's strongest pieces of ocean conservation legislation, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, sanctuaries seek to preserve the extraordinary scenic beauty, biodiversity, historical connections. and economic productivity of our most precious underwater parks.


For more information go to www.montereywharf.com or www.whalefest.org or call 831-238-0777 or email [email protected]