Conservation Influencers

Whale And Dolphin Conservation

Wiltshire, UK

Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) was founded in 1987 as the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. However in 2012, it dropped the word society from its title to reflect the fact that it had transformed itself into a campaigning body. 

In the UK, USA, Germany and Australia, WDC has teams on the ground that it employs. And in Argentina it works closely with Fundación Cethus (with whom it developed an acoustic tool) on the conservation and welfare of whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans). 

Whale and Dolphin Conservation is a proud and self-declared animal rights group, which campaigns at IWC’s and CITES’ CoPs, and within the EU and other institutions, ‘to have legal rights granted to whales and dolphins’. It is equally committed, it says, to making the seas healthy, which, in its view, ‘necessitates curtailing commercial fishing, oil and gas drilling, as well as shipping’. And it wants to put an end to bycatch, which, IWMC believes, is a totally unrealistic aspiration, unless, that is, capture fisheries are abolished. This suggests that WDC’s unarticulated, de facto, goal is to end capture fisheries. Furthermore, WDC wants to outlaw the ‘holding of whales and dolphins in captivity’ and put a stop to all whaling on the high seas.

According to its report and financial statements for 2019 – 2018, WDC created the world’s first sanctuary for captive whales in association with the SEA LIFE Trust

Under our achievements, WDC highlights how in 2017 it persuaded the EU Parliament to urge the EU Commission to ‘stop whale meat being moved through EU ports’ (See here). WDC further boasts about how in 2018 it ‘forced Radisson hotels to stop selling whale meat at the Park Inn Radisson in Iceland’. Also in 2018, it took partial credit for the call by CITES’ Standing Committee 70, in Sochi, Russia, for ‘Japan to halt hunting sei whales in international waters’ (See here). 


Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s 80-strong staff is led by Chris Butler-Stroud.


The organization is overseen by trustees, led by its chairperson, Dr. Lisa Drewe, author of Islandeering: Adventures Around the Edge of Britain’s Hidden Islands, who joined the organisation in 2016. 


According to the Trustees, WDC’s income in 2019 was £3,914,549 and its expenditure was £3,378,364, including the cost of raising funds, which amounted to £969,947. 

About the directory

Conservation Influencers is a searchable directory of the animal activist, environmental and ecological lobby. It examines the history, mission, methodology and reputation of NGOs to assess their impact on the global conservation cause.


Franz Weber Foundation

From 1990 until 2015, Franz Weber Foundation (FFW) managed the Fazao-Malfakassa National Park in Togo, which was, according to an in-depth investigation by Duke University, ‘established by forcing the local communities off their land and without taking into consideration their point of view’. That same study cited convincing evidence from reports published in 1990, confirming that competition for land use was already ‘creating conflict between the local communities and park managers’. In 2015 Togo refused to renew FFW’s contract because, the report says, ‘local communities were still excluded from the management of the natural resources of their land’ and FFW had ‘failed to fulfil its contract’. Franz Weber Foundation plays a major role within CITES because it funds and manages from Switzerland the African Elephant Coalition (AEC), which represents 32 African range states, some of which have barely any elephants and others none at all. Contrary to the wishes of the range states in Southern Africa, which manage most of the world’s wild elephant populations, the AEC at CITES’ CoPs repeatedly tables proposals to put all of the world’s elephants in appendix I. And the AEC uses its voting power to keep in place prohibitions on ivory sales and all other trade in elephant-related derivatives, including skins and hair, which Southern African nations wish to legalise.