The sea is decaying at the hands of humans, and while no creature is more worthy than another, dolphins and whales are beautiful and intelligent sentinels of ecosystem health.  We can reverse the decay by working together:  researchers, fishers, recreational boaters, captains of industry on land and sea, and managers need to communicate with each other, and understand that we have commonalities of seeing a healthy world ocean for our great-grandchildren and beyond. Those in positions of financial and political power need the data of degradation from scientists and conservationists, presented in non-aggressive and compelling fashion in order for changes in mindsets to take place, already set into motion but in desperate need of being solidified.  

Bernd Würsig

Regents Professor of Marine Mammalogy & Director of the Marine Mammal Research Program, Texas A&M University


Many people love wild dolphins and are drawn to the sea, but if we want to save dolphins, we have to save their habitat -- not only the waters where they live but the best conditions under which they thrive. This means demanding better fishing methods and enforcing bans on driftnets, controlling shipping traffic, monitoring pollution, and curtailing all-out oil and gas and other industrial development. If we don’t consciously make a place for dolphins not just in our hearts, but in the sea, we cannot expect them to survive much longer. Right now, all eyes are on the Mediterranean because the Mediterranean is at the edge of history -- what happens here may well be a preview of what happens to the world ocean.
Erich Hoyt

Senior Research Fellow, WDCS The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society


Members of the magnificent diversity of marine life are gradually becoming part of a dwindling legacy we are leaving for our children. We now face the reality of cetacean populations and even entire species going extinct. The good news is, we still have time to reverse this trend. The first step is a growing movement of concerned individuals and diverse groups collaborating to articulate sound scientific, socio-economic and moral connections between the health of marine ecosystems, and a robust and justifiable conception of human well-being.

Genevieve Johnson

Writer / Education Director, earthOCEAN


Cetacean conservation must be seen as just one aspect or element of Nature conservation -- an inclusive, comprehensive surge meant to hold our planet together and keep it from becoming an unrecognizable, synthetic wilderness of human self-gratification. Decisions small and large, individual and collective, local and international, all matter. Those of us who find ourselves in positions of advocacy for cetaceans need to close ranks, encourage one another, keep our focus, stick to the facts, and remain positive.

Randall R. Reeves

Chair, IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group


From a moral perspective we have an obligation to make sure that the actions we carry out at sea are sustainable and do not result in the extinction of species. From a scientific and ecological perspective the decline of cetaceans is a sign that we are doing something wrong in our Mediterranean ecosystem. Something that we must correct, not only for the sake of cetacean populations affected, but also for the survival of all other species, including ourselves, as we also depend on the balance of this ecosystem, both economically and culturally.

Ana Canadas

Director of Science, Alnitak Marine Research Centre


An action to conserve a cetacean population will be successful only when we can be reasonably convinced that the subjects of such action - whales or dolphins - have noticed that something in their life has changed for the better.

Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara

Chair, ACCOBAMS Scientific Committee


How vast was the ocean once. How rich it was only a hundred years ago. And yet little is left today. Species are disappearing, their populations collapsing. Unfortunately, cetaceans are among those on the top of the sad list. But also, they could give us hope. As top predators, cetaceans represent the entire marine environment. Their effective conservation could help not only their survival, but that of countless other animals and plants and their entire habitat. Cetacean conservation is conservation of the entire sea.

Drasko Holcer

President, Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation


If cetaceans are doing well in a particular sea, that sea can be considered healthy.

Alexei Birkun

Chair, Black Sea Council for Marine Mammals


The sperm whales, these peaceful giants, are honoring us with their presence in the Mediterranean. Human activities threaten their survival, and yet sometimes we hear the question “Why should we protect sperm whales?”. My answer is: Do we have the right to judge if the survival of a species or population is important or not? Are we allowed to decide about the lives of beings who have their own culture and have been inhabiting this Planet for hundreds of thousands or even millions of years before us?

Alexandros Frantzis

President, Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute