Jean-Michel Cousteau Launches Global Alliance to Save the Whales

June 25, 2013 (Santa Barbara, CA)
Media Contact:
Holly S. Lohuis
(805) 899-8899 x1

Charities and businesses from around the world form "World Cetacean Alliance"
in an overdue new partnership for whales and dolphins.

In 1982 we thought we had ‘Saved the Whale’ when in Brighton, 42 world governments met at the Hilton hotel and took an historic vote to cease killing whales. Yet today, despite years of campaigning, 1000 of these animals die daily from causes such as fishing by-catch, pollution, plastics, undersea mining, ship strike, whaling, and the captivity trade. Whales and dolphins (collectively known as cetaceans) are in trouble.

Now a group of organizations and dedicated individuals have joined forces to form a new network to represent these charismatic animals and bring together all who fight to protect them.

Led by Honorary President Jean-Michel Cousteau, the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) launches as a partnership of charities, whale watching businesses and individual advocates from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Germany, Iceland, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, UK, and the USA.

“Without collaboration we will achieve nothing more than a drop in the ocean”, explains ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, who has campaigned for ocean conservation for decades as an environmentalist, educator, and film producer. Mr. Cousteau continued: “The World Cetacean Alliance is a unique opportunity to combine our collective energy, knowledge, and expertise in order to protect whales, dolphins, and their aquatic realm.”

The Alliance believes everybody deserves a say in the important decisions that affect whales and dolphins, and will involve the widest possible stakeholder community, and especially the public, in all of its agreed actions. Even the Alliance’s name was chosen by a public vote.

WCA Partner Dr Ingrid Visser of the Orca Research Trust explains: "If the public knew that we didn't already have a global network working together to protect whales and dolphins I think they would be shocked! In the past campaigns have often been disjointed and have typically lacked support from other organizations. As a result they usually have low impact, or fail altogether. The World Cetacean Alliance is our best chance in years to change all that; it's a very exciting opportunity and we owe it to cetaceans to make it work!"

The Alliance begins with experts and the public mapping their ‘Areas of Concern’ for whales and dolphins around the world. This free online survey will identify and map priority issues affecting cetaceans, and each and every person that submits a map will be making a real difference. Every time the public circles an area they are concerned about, that place gets HOTTER. The hotter the place, the more pressure the WCA will be able to apply to get protection in that location.

As part of this the WCA is targeting three locations in need of immediate action. The first is New Zealand, home to the last 55 Maui’s dolphins, the most critically endangered dolphin in the world and threatened by commercial fishing practices. Second is one of the planet’s few remaining wildernesses, Antarctica; where the Ross Sea needs protection from commercial exploitation. Thirdly, the island of Tenerife, where wild orca ‘Morgan’ must be saved from an inhumane life in captivity.

The Alliance faces huge challenges but this does not daunt Dylan Walker of Planet Whale, the organization that facilitated the creation of the Alliance. Said Mr. Walker: “I am proud to be a part of this new network of organizations and individuals with a deep, collective determination to protect whales and dolphins. By working together we know we can achieve so much more than in the past. With a collective focus and a positive outlook, we will turn the tide before it is too late!”

For further information please contact:
Dylan Walker
Secretariat, World Cetacean Alliance
Planet Whale
2a Church Road, Hove, BN3 2FL. UK.
Tel: +44 (0)1273 355011
Cell: +44 (0)7900 471490

About Ocean Futures Society
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society was founded to explore the oceans, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for their protection and to celebrate their vital importance to the survival of all life on the planet. Ambassadors of the Environment represents the Society’s commitment to prepare the next generation for the responsibilities they will inherit to manage the planet’s biosphere. For more information, visit the website at