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Jamie McDell and 55 passionate Kiwis raise their voices for the remaining Maui dolphins

Submitted by on June 16, 2016 – 4:00 am
Jamie McDell surfboard2. Photo by Nicky BirchMedia Release – 13 June 2016 – 55 Kiwis singing to save the Māui Dolphin
“Son of the ocean, son of the sea, come be outspoken, wash all this clean”.

Raising their voices for Māui dolphins, Auckland-based singer/songwriter Jamie McDell and 55 passionate Kiwis have inspired the weekend YouTube and iTunes’ release of “Son of the Ocean”.

It is estimated that there are only 55 Māui dolphins over the age of one year left in the wild. To raise awareness of this critically endangered dolphin, “Son of the Ocean” is Jamie’s awesome contribution to WWF-New Zealand’s Challenge 55.

To record the song, she was joined at Auckland’s Roundhead Studios in May by 55 young Kiwis, who were chosen by online audition to contribute musically. All proceeds generated from iTunes’ downloads of the song will support WWF’s efforts to save New Zealand’s Māui dolphin.

The easy-going, beach-loving 23-year-old Jamie McDell, has long been an advocate for defending the world’s oceans. From surfing to diving to living on a sailboat in the Mediterranean for a number of years as a child, she has a deep love for the ocean and the creatures that live in it. Jamie is an ambassador for Surf Lifesaving New Zealand, volunteers as a lifeguard at Pauanui, and she works with organisations aiming to protect the oceans.

“My Challenge 55 goal is to raise awareness for the rare Māui dolphin and to spark conversations around what we can be doing to keep our oceans healthy for generations to come,” she said.

“The Māui dolphins are like the kiwis of the sea, there’s nothing like them!”

“Son of the Ocean” can be downloaded on https://itunes.apple.com/nz/album/son-ocean-feat.-55-single/id1118148502 and https://youtu.be/9GZZCeEJd6Q

Jamie gives a nod to the power of social media to powerfully blend music and environmental awareness. Six years down the track of her promising career, Jamie has a large and loyal social media following, named the Gypsy Pirates, totalling 202,700 Facebook followers, 28,400 on Twitter, 44,100 Instagram followers and 83,190 YouTube subscribers.

“A song about Māui dolphins can get people’s attention asking for more protection of the species,” she said.

“Focussed online content can inspire young people to get outdoors and figure out for themselves why it is important for us to look after our land and sea. I think it’s more helpful to give people a reason to care rather than just telling them they should.

“As New Zealanders, we are surrounded by water that is so accessible to us, therefore we can easily develop an appreciation and love for the sea and hopefully that need to protect it for whatever reason works for us all.”

WWF-New Zealand’s ‘Challenge 55’ is happening now – where people from all around the country are taking part in their own specially-designed fundraising challenges to support the conservation of the critically endangered Māui dolphin.

WWF-New Zealand Head of Campaigns, Peter Hardstaff said Challenge 55 was about raising awareness of the plight of Māui dolphins and raising funds to strengthen WWF-New Zealand’s advocacy for better protection of this special creature.

“We can save Māui dolphins if urgent action is taken,” Peter said. “The government needs to remove set-netting and trawling from Māui dolphin habitat and support affected fishers to move to dolphin-friendly fishing methods.”

How to get involved in Challenge 55:

1. Choose a challenge – no matter how big or small

2. Create a fundraising page – to do so, visit: www.challenge55.org.nz

3. Get your friends and family to sponsor you – spread the word far and wide!

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