South Georgia and its whales need you now

by South Georgia Heritage Trust in Dundee, Dundee City Council, United Kingdom

South Georgia and its whales need you now
We did it
On 9th August 2023 we successfully raised £343 ( + est. £5.00 Gift Aid ) with 4 supporters in 42 days

Help us deliver a landmark artwork at South Georgia to shine a light on the whale's tale and create a beacon of hope for conservation.

Project by South Georgia Heritage Trust

We're the South Georgia Heritage Trust 

We exist to preserve the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, with its millions of penguins, seabirds, seals and whales and links to famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton

A British island 800 miles north of Antarctica, South Georgia is a faraway icy wildlife haven known for its role in the Endurance story and history of polar exploration. It was the hub of the early 20th century Southern Ocean whaling industry, but thankfully South Georgia is now an environmental good news story where seabirds and whales which were devastated by past human impact are now thriving again.


Since 2006, we have managed the South Georgia Museum at Grytviken welcoming up to 15,000 visitors every season, and delivered the world’s largest rodent eradication to save millions of native birds.

We need your help today 

We’re seeking your support on Crowdfunder to raise £20,000 over the coming weeks to celebrate World Conservation Day 2023 on 28th July. We're inviting you to donate to this campaign and become a sponsor of our next major project - a landmark artwork that will shine a light on the island’s inspiring ecological recovery story and help protect its remarkable whales.

Commensalis: The Spirit Tables of South Georgia by commissioned artist Michael Visocchi RSA will commemorate the loss of 175,000 whales at South Georgia between 1905 and 1965 and celebrate their inspiring recent return to the island’s waters. It will help fund vital research to ensure these whales continue to recover. And the artwork will become a beacon of hope for conservation worldwide, powerfully demonstrating that ecological restoration is possible and nature heals when given the chance.

Please dive deeper into this mesmerising artwork by watching the following video and let Michael himself tell you about how whales inspired Commensalis and its  message of hope for our planet.



More than 1 million people from all over the world will see this artwork in person over the next century and many more will experience it online, via schools outreach and at touring exhibitions. We are setting up a Commensalis whale research fund too, so we can learn more about South Georgia’s whales to help protect them into the future as they continue to recover.


You can support South Georgia and its whales right now

You can help make Commensalis a reality, become part of South Georgia’s inspiring ongoing story of recovery, protect the island’s whales into the future and create a long-lasting beacon of hope of conservation worldwide by becoming a sponsor of this landmark artwork. 

Donation options and benefits for your support are listed on this page. From as little as £33 you can Sponsor a Rivet in the artwork to light your own little beacon of hope to help shine a light on South Georgia’s remarkable story of ecological recovery. Or if you want to support at a higher level (including via direct debit) you will experience more benefits and progress to our Commensalis Collective giving club which offers an exclusive range of rewards as listed.

And if you're searching for a fun way to support this campaign you can donate your forgotten Nectar Points to the project on Crowdfunder, so please do consider donating this way instead / as well!

Celebrate World Conservation Day 2023 by supporting this campaign

This campaign draws inspiration from World Conservation Day 2023 on 28th July, and we invite you to personally mark the day by supporting this campaign and aligning yourself to an inspirational project that highlights what's possible through conservation. 

Please celebrate World Conservation Day with us this year by donating to this campaign and helping make Commensalis a reality. By doing so you will help tell the whale's tale at South Georgia to inspire hope for our planet around the world and support ongoing conservation activities benefiting Southern Ocean whales into the future.


This £20,000 fundraising target is part of a larger overall project target. Any donation you give today will see ten percent routed to the Commensalis whale research fund. And in the unlikely event of the artwork not being realised, your gift will be used to support other priority projects to protect South Georgia's environment and/or preserve its rich cultural heritage.

From all of us at the South Georgia Heritage Trust, THANK YOU!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£33 or more

Sponsor a small Rivet in the artwork

Why £33? Because South Georgia's returning humpback whales (featured in the artwork) sing beautiful and complex songs that last up to 33 minutes. We're so thankful to hear these melodies again in the bays of South Georgia! By sponsoring a small rivet in the artwork you will secure a digital certificate marking your donation and confirming a small rivet in your name on one of the Spirit Tables.

£90 or more

Sponsor a medium Rivet in the artwork

Why £90? Because the fin whale (featured in the artwork) has an average lifespan of 90 years – to see these long living giants returning to the island after being the most persecuted species during the whaling era is incredibly inspiring. As well as a digital certificate marking your donation and rivet in the artwork, you will receive behind-the-scenes audio from Michael Visocchi's recent trip to Grytviken where Commensalis will be installed.

£199 or more

Sponsor a large Rivet in the artwork

Why £199? Because the world’s largest whale, the blue whale (featured in artwork), can weigh up to a staggering 199 tons – that’s equivalent to 398 Grand Pianos! As well as receiving a digital certificate and the behind-the-scenes audio above, you will receive a timeless rivet key ring designed by Commensalis artist Michael Visocchi.

£396 or more

Celebrate World Conservation Day 2023

To mark World Conservation Day this year, which is when this campaign concludes on 28th July, we invite you to sponsor a year's worth of small rivets (£33 per month) in support of this landmark artwork which will become a beacon of hope for conservation. Why £396? Not just £33 x 12 months, blue whales can have up to 396 baleen plates in their mouths to filter food. You will receive certificate, exclusive audio, key ring and artwork magnet.

£1,000 or more

Shine a brighter light on South Georgia's whales

In return for this level of transformational gift, you will be allocated a collection of 30 small rivets on a Spirit Table of your choice and two tickets to a prestigious invite-only artwork launch event (date and venue TBC). As well, you receive certificate, audio, key ring and magnet.

£5,000 or more

Become a Friend of the Commensalis Collective

Join the artwork's major giving club the Commensalis Collective as a Friend level member. Secure all of the above giving level rewards as well as the following: on-island donor naming recognition as part of the artwork; one of 48 ornamental rivets designed and signed by artist Michael Visocchi; allocation of rivets on, and dedication to, Spirit Table of your choice; and online donor naming recognition to mark your support.

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