Success stories

Milestones since 1989

Latests successes


Marine conservation and climate protection

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea addresses underwater noise as transboundary form of marine pollution in the second World Ocean Assessment.

OceanCare attends hearings in the Spanish Parliament on a possible ban on oil and gas exploration in Spanish waters.

Following interventions by OceanCare, Spain rejects four applications from a Dutch oil company for seismic surveys in the whale migration corridor off the Catalan coast.

At the UN Environment Programme’s online event “Act #ForNature Forum”, OceanCare speaks about plastic pollution in the ocean and emphasises the need for a global plastic treaty.

Animal & Species Protection

Supported by OceanCare, BEES analyses the poaching of endangered marine wildlife in Benin and Togo, presents initial results at the conference of the parties to the Convention on Migratory Species and thus lays the foundations for a conservation action plan in West Africa.

With the help of OceanCare, CIT rescues 18 whale sharks in Venezuela. Thanks to this cooperation, already 60 stranded whale sharks have survived since 2018.

OceanCare founds the Sea Turtle Rescue Alliance, a global network for the rescue and medical care of injured sea turtles.

Supported by OceanCare, the Spanish Save the Med Foundation retrieves 180 ghost nets from the sea around the Balearic Islands, thereby freeing 89 sea turtles.

Environmental education

On World Cleanup Day, volunteers collect over half a tonne of waste in the water and along the promenade at Lake Zurich.


Marine conservation and climate protection

The Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution declares the whale migration corridor between the Balearic Islands and the Spanish mainland a protected area, as called for by OceanCare.

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea takes up OceanCare’s demand to apply the precautionary principle wherever there is a lack of scientific data for important measures in marine conservation.

At the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, OceanCare explains to delegates from member countries how a less noisy ocean would contribute to climate action.

Animal & Species Protection

In cooperation with the UN Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, OceanCare conducts a workshop on the impact of underwater noise on fish and invertebrates.

Following pressure from OceanCare and partners, 90 beluga whales and twelve orcas captured in Russia and destined for Chinese theme parks are released back into the wild.

Together with European scientists and research institutes, OceanCare begins to develop the “SaveMoby” warning system to save sperm whales in the eastern Mediterranean from ship collisions.

The Dolphinaria-Free Europe coalition, co-founded by OceanCare, stops plans for a dolphinarium in Budapest.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) raises the protection status of shortfin and longfin mako sharks on the recommendation of the Species Survival Network, in which OceanCare has been active since 1997.

Environmental education

The documentary “A Feather to Kill” shows the dolphin hunt in Peru. The film receives a nomination for the Director’s Award at the International Ocean Film Festival in San Francisco.

The Swiss SonntagsZeitung presents Sigrid Lüber, founder and president of OceanCare, as Swiss Woman of the Year 2019.


Thanks to our consistent scientific approach, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) promotes OceanCare from the ‘NGO Major Group’ to the ‘Science and Technology Major Group’ within its administrative body (UNEA), giving OceanCare’s voice more weight.

For the first time, the UN devotes a one-week meeting to underwater noise as part of the consultative process for the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. OceanCare President Sigrid Lüber provided advice in drawing up the agenda and Dr. Linda Weilgart and Nicolas Entrup officially spoke as experts at the panel. The final report to the UN General Assembly contains many of the measures OceanCare is calling for to reduce and regulate underwater noise, which have been included in the Oceans Resolution and the Sustainable Fisheries Resolution.

OceanCare takes part in the first official negotiations for the planned UN High Seas Agreement (BBNJ) in New York. The delegation emphasises that environmental impact assessments are urgently needed on the high seas – specifically taking into account underwater noise – and that marine protected areas are crucial.

OceanCare supports the Secretariat of the Abidjan Convention in organising the first workshop of the Abidjan Aquatic Wildlife Partnership. In July, more than 40 scientists as well as representatives of governments and international bodies develop a regional action plan to curb poaching of aquatic species and industrial overfishing of local waters. 

The European Union defines its negotiating position as a member of the International Whaling Commission for the next six years: it will advocate active cetacean conservation and oppose commercial whaling. OceanCare had presented strong arguments for whale protection to the decision makers.  At IWC67 in Florianópolis, Brazil, OceanCare helped to avert dangerous initiatives and maintain the moratorium on whaling.

After more than ten years of intensive work, the filmmakers Malcolm Wright and Leah Lemieux finish their film ‘Whale Like Me’ and show it in whaling countries. With their non-confrontational, dialogue-based approach, they win the trust of whalers and plead for a paradigm shift in attitudes towards whales. OceanCare made a substantial contribution for realising the film project, whose message of respect goes far beyond the whaling debate.  

OceanCare and Dolphin Biology & Conservation start a dolphin conservation project in the northern Adriatic. The study area is among the most intensively trawled zones in the world. On a 5,550 km research trip, 148 groups of bottlenose dolphins are spotted and 360 animals registered individually. The researchers give lectures at schools and universities and workshops for fishermen and decision-makers.

The petition ‘Strip us’ gains 18’000 signatures. OceanCare calls on major distributors to offer organic fruit and vegetables without plastic packaging. Following discussions with those responsible for sustainability, Coop announces that plastic packaging for organic fruit and vegetables will be discontinued from autumn 2018.

On World Clean-up Day, OceanCare frees a beach area of 6000 m² in the southern Italian province of Calabria from 500 kilograms of garbage as part of its whale and dolphin research programme. A report on local television stirs the interest of the local population.

OceanCare helps the Majorcan organisation Asociación Ondine to develop a three-day educational module on plastic pollution. In 34 schools, 2088 pupils are made aware of the problem. They collect 101,815 plastic objects on beaches.

OceanCare supports British Divers for Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) in purchasing two transport trailers, four emergency enclosures for seals as well as stretchers, life jackets and animal models for training purposes. In addition, OceanCare funds three experts to participate in a seal rescue symposium in Ireland. In 2018, BDMLR carries out 1279 rescue operations for seals, dolphins, whales, sea turtles and seabirds. 

OceanCare supports the Venezuelan Shark Research Center (CIT) in setting up a stranding network for whale sharks. Thanks to its educational work, stranded whale sharks since March 2018 no longer get killed by the local population in Venezuela, but are returned to open water.

In cooperation with OceanCare, the Swiss tour operator Hotelplan Suisse stops offering dolphinarium visits. In an information brochure, the company actively advises customers against visiting dolphinaria and commercial swimming with dolphins.

OceanCare accompanies 72 students in their semester, high school, diploma, bachelor’s, master’s and apprenticeship theses and gives workshops at the Höhere Fachschule für Tourismus (IST) on critical aspects of wildlife tourism. 64 people take part in field research projects in Sicily and Mallorca. The work of OceanCare is referred to in more than 200 articles in international media.


The member states to the Barcelona Convention declare the marine area between the Baleares and the Spanish mainland a Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance. This area is an important marine mammal habitat, but threatened by seismic activities by the petroleum industry. Two years of advocacy work by OceanCare and Alianza Mar Blava made this success possible.

In Croatia, OceanCare and NRDC, supported by Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, organise a workshop on underwater noise in the south-eastern Mediterranean, which increasingly becomes a target of the petroleum industry. The workshop is attended by 62 people from 17 countries, including scientists and representatives of environmental authorities, energy ministries, environmental bodies, conservation organisations, the EU Commission, and the tourism and fisheries industries. They work out an action plan to reduce noise-intensive activities in the region.

At the UN Ocean Conference, the United Nations adopt an action plan for the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources (Sustainable Development Goal 14). However, underwater noise is missing from its first draft. OceanCare sees to it that this threat is included in the action plan, which is crucial as these are the issues the UN will primarily address until 2030. In the plenary hall of the UN General Assembly, OceanCare reads out a plea co-signed by 24 organizations to reduce underwater noise.

The conference of parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species adopts guidelines for environmental impact assessments. OceanCare has been instrumental in developing these guidelines. Further, at OceanCare’s initiative, a resolution to protect marine species from plastic waste is complemented by a ban on particularly toxic types of plastic. The resolution demands that the more than 120 member states take concrete action. In addition, OceanCare successfully advocates the adoption of a resolution against poaching of aquatic species protected by this Convention, and becomes part of the “Aquatic Wild Meat” working group, which assesses the issue and develops remedies.

OceanCare convinces decision makers at the Abidjan Convention in Côte d’Ivoire that decisive action needs to be taken against poaching of protected aquatic animal species in West, Central and South Africa, which results from marine overfishing. The Abidjan Convention, OceanCare, Wild Migration, the World Bank and the US AID financed programme West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WA-BiCC) establish the “Abidjan Aquatic Wildlife Partnership” as an alliance to implement concrete actions.

A short video clip on the Peruvian dolphin and shark hunt published by OceanCare is viewed almost 218,000 times on YouTube. More than half the views are recorded in South America, many of which in Peru, where continuously more and more light is being shed on the hunt.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) now requires export permits for hunting trophies from protected species, including the polar bear. This includes a proof that the trophy hunt is compatible with sustainable use. CITES thereby follows a recommendation by the Species Survival Network, of which OceanCare is an active member.

OceanCare launches the campaign “I Care” against the use of throwaway plastics. The website collects 1,975 personal commitments to reduce plastic consumption, which equates to a reduction of 2,874 kilos of plastic bags, 117,000 plastic straws, 303 kilos of PET bottles, 1,204 kilos of one-way coffee cups, one billion of microplastic particles from cosmetics, and 15 trillion microplastic fibres from laundry.

OceanCare’s edutainment video on marine plastic littering becomes part of an exhibition in the Hong Kong Science Museum, which is visited by up to 4,000 children per day.

As part of a cooperation with OceanCare, Gebr. Heinemann, one of the most important distributors and retailers in the international travel market, reduces the use of disposable bags in its shops by 70 percent compared to the previous year.

OceanCare and Dolphin Biology & Conservation complete their scientific work in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece. The resulting data prompt the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to designate this area as an Important Marine Mammal Area.

In the Hellenic Trench, OceanCare supports the Greek Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute (PCRI) since 2008 to study the largest known sperm whale population in the Mediterranean. At the request of PCRI, the IUCN designates the Hellenic Trench as an Important Marine Mammal Area. The aim is to shift shipping traffic away from the main whale distribution area.

At a scientific conference, OceanCare presents an underwater video of a Rough-toothed dolphin sighting during a research project in Sicily. This audio-visual documentation is important for science, as this dolphin species is very rare in the Mediterranean and there’s hardly any scientific documentation.

At Cap Blanc, the number of Mediterranean monk seals is estimated at 300, which means that the population is as large again as before the proliferation of algae, which almost eradicated it in 1997. The conservation project in Mauritania, led by CBD-Habitat and supported by OceanCare, is a success story in species conservation.


OceanCare becomes partner organisation of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

OceanCare becomes partner organisation of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), a regional agreement of the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Dr. Silvia Frey is invited as an external expert to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission.

At the Conference of Parties to the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Mediterranean Sea (ACCOBAMS), OceanCare is instrumental in achieving a resolution on expanding measures to reduce noise in the Mediterranean.

The long-term efforts by OceanCare and NRDC pay off: Since December 2016, environmental impact assessments are mandatory prior to noise-intensive activities in EU waters.

Lora L. Nordtvedt Reeve, expert in law of the sea and environmental law, represents OceanCare at the first two rounds of negotiations on the new UN agreement on the conservation of the high seas.

Sigrid Lüber and Fabienne McLellan participate in the informal consultative process of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea regarding marine plastic pollution in New York and introduce important claims which are adopted for the final report directed to the UN General Assembly.

OceanCare and Dolphin Biology & Conservation ask the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to declare the Gulf of Corinth in Greece an Important Marine Mammal Area.

OceanCare co-hosts a workshop with 40 renowned scientists compiling new data on the endangerment of common dolphins in a report. At the ACCOBAMS conference, OceanCare takes this report to call for the highest degree of protection for this dolphin species in the Mediterranean.

Undercover investigations by Stefan Austermühle, made possible also by OceanCare in 2013, prompt the Peruvian public prosecution authority to bring a charge against three fishermen who were filmed killing dolphins. A decree by the Peruvian government bans the harpoons that are used for killing dolphins.

A filming crew sent by OceanCare documents the trade in shark fins and the sale of baby sharks on local markets in Peru.

At the whaling conference, the EU condemns the escalating whaling and increasing whale meat trade by Norway and Iceland. OceanCare, Pro Wildlife and AWI had called for this vote, as initially the policies of these two countries had not been on the agenda of the conference.

OceanCare launches a new whale and dolphin research and conservation programme in Sicily. Sightings of rough-toothed dolphins are very valuable to science.

A poster designed by OceanCare and AWI is being distributed in Senegal, raising awareness for the threats to manatees and illustrating that poaching will be punished.

OceanCare presents a report on aquatic bushmeat as well as anti-poaching measures to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species, establishing a basis for a resolution that will be voted on in 2017.

British Divers for Marine Life Rescue carry out more than 600 rescue operations. OceanCare supports further professionalizing of the field work through laminated manuals, first-aid kits and new ocean-going equipment.

The monk seal population at Cap Blanc in Mauritania grew further and is now estimated at 280 animals.

Already 70 airlines and cargo companies followed the call of a network of organisations including OceanCare and ban the transport of shark fins.

OceanCare supports beach cleaning activities by Archipelagos in the Greek islands of Samos and Agathonisi. 3000 booklets on plastic waste in Greek language have been distributed on the Aegean islands. An English version is used by 12 international schools in Greece for environmental education.

Migros Zurich and OceanCare launch a pilot project and sell reusable fruit and vegetable bags. The project also involves raising awareness for an environmentally sensitive use of plastics.


OceanCare co-authors and presents the report “Overview of the Noise Hotspots in the ACCOBAMS Area” to the scientific committee of the Mediterranean cetacean conservation agreement. The report contains the first map showing where noise-producing activities accumulate and how these so-called “noise hotspots” overlap with important cetacean habitats in the Mediterranean Sea.

In June, the petroleum industry bows to massive protests against seismic explorations off the Balearic Islands. British petroleum company Cairn Energy withdraws four oil exploration applications for the Gulf of Valencia.

The US Navy gives in to the legal case brought by a coalition of NGOs, including NRDC and OceanCare and abstains from using active sonar and explosives in manoeuvres for three years in two particularly important marine habitats off Hawaii and California.

An information leaflet on plastic pollution and its consequences for marine wildlife is translated into Greek. It is now available in seven languages and is used for environmental education by local partner organisations on three continents.

There is a breakthrough for the High Seas Alliance: The UN General Assembly decides to draw up an international agreement on the conservation of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. OceanCare has been invited to participate in the UN working group that will participate in drafting the agreement within the next two years.

OceanCare and Peruvian organisation Mundo Azul produce the short film “Peru’s Blood Red Ocean” documenting the killing of dolphins and sharks in Peru. The film is sent to the Government of Peru, to all Peruvian Embassies worldwide, and to relevant secretariats of fisheries and species conservation agreements. The film is awarded a special jury prize at the renowned nature film festival in Eckernförde (Germany).

The coalition Dolphinaria-Free Europe (DFE) forms in the European Parliament. The first successful interventions are: Plans for a dolphin TV show in Portugal dropped; Poland’s Minister of the Environment rejecting the construction of a dolphinarium; the Government of the Republic of Cyprus dropping plans to lift the ban on whale and dolphin imports; and the EU Commission resuming a debate on dolphinaria.

Pressured by a huge number of activists and organisations worldwide, including OceanCare, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) decides to suspend the membership of the Japanese association JAZA as long as its members are involved in the dolphin drive hunt. JAZA reacts by immediately banning purchases of brutally caught dolphins from Taiji. The Taiji Whale Museum, hub for the dolphin trade, leaves JAZA and loses its certification.

OceanCare successfully rounds off the research project in southern France after 16 years. Data on whale and dolphin distribution in the Pelagos Sanctuary is fed into a public database. The research is being continued around Sicily from where our knowledge about cetaceans is very limited.

For five years, OceanCare and Dolphin Biology & Conservation have been studying dolphins in the Gulf of Corinth, resulting in an upward revision of the striped dolphin population size to 1,420 animals. The new data has been presented at the annual conference of the European Cetacean Society.

There is a continuing positive trend in the birth rates of Mediterranean monk seals in their refuge in Mauritania: 73 pups are the most recent ray of hope for the survival of the rare seal species. Ongoing growth of this last monk seal stronghold allowed downlisting the species from “critically endangered” to “endangered”.

OceanCare supports British Divers for Marine Life Rescue in compiling 13 first aid kits to be used by rescue teams in the UK for rescuing stranded marine mammals. In 2015 BDMLR operations included 410 seal rescues and 54 whale and dolphin strandings.

Already 31 airlines quit transporting shark fins. American Airlines and United Parcel Service (UPS) join by issuing a transport ban that OceanCare has been campaigning for within a network of species conservation organisations.


The Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) assign the highest conservation status to the Cuvier’s beaked whale, a deep-diving species particularly susceptible to marine noise, by including it in CMS Appendix I. OceanCare and partners campaigned for this conservation initiative.

OceanCare also successfully advocated for CMS protection of polar bears within their habitat. The king of the Arctic is now included in CMS Appendix II, providing the species with a special conservation status.

The 120 CMS Parties acknowledge that cetaceans have culture. A related resolution calls on the parties to ban live capture of small cetaceans for commercial keeping. OceanCare worked hard towards this resolution.

The Swiss National Council votes for an import ban on seal products. OceanCare and the Franz Weber Foundation have been campaigning for this ban since 2008.

Pressure from OceanCare and partner organisations prevents the use of dolphins as torch-bearers at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

OceanCare becomes a founding member of the alliance Dolphinaria-Free Europe and is represented on the board by Silvia Frey.

OceanCare and partners in the Silent Oceans coalition protest against oil exploration off the Balearic Islands. Their actions trigger the Spanish Ministry of the Environment to extend the consultation period and, for the time being, to withhold approval from the petroleum company, Cairn Energy. More than 200,000 people joined the online protest.

Croatia’s Minister of the Environment announces that a Strategic Environmental Assessment will be carried out prior to licensing oil developments in Croatian waters. This follows an e-mail protest campaign set up by OceanCare and direct intervention with the Croatian authorities by OceanCare and partners in the Silent Oceans coalition.

The revised EU Directives requires that Environmental Impact Assessments must cover the exploration phase of the search for offshore oil and gas beneath the sea floor. These seismic survey activities expose marine wildlife to extreme levels of noise. OceanCare and partners have been systematically working towards this goal since 2013.

OceanCare becomes a member of the working group on the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive and focuses on the issue of underwater noise pollution.

Accredited NGOs, such as OceanCare, win approval to speak in the plenary and in working group meetings of the International Whaling Commission. OceanCare has been lobbying for this since 2002.

The edutainment video created by OceanCare and science illustrator Michael Stünzi on plastic pollution in the oceans is screened during flights of Swiss airline Edelweiss Air.

With the information event “Encountering marine animals respectfully: tips and trends” for Swiss travel agencies in the Volkshaus Zurich, Switzerland, OceanCare contributes to raising awareness in wildlife tourism.


Information movies, photo virals, online reports and free filler advertisements in print media motivate many people to speak up for silent oceans as online activists at

More than 9,000 people send protest e-mails to the Croatian Government through raising concern over the deafening search for crude oil off the Croatian coast. They demand strict measures are taken to reduce noise.

From Greece to Peru, OceanCare and partners provide information about the consequences of marine plastic pollution through flyers, presentations and information booths. Specific calls for action motivate people to rethink their plastic use.

OceanCare’s objective of a dolphinaria free Switzerland becomes reality as the Connyland dolphinarium closes down.

Thanks to efforts by OceanCare and others, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration rejects the importation of 18 beluga whales, caught in Russian waters, for six US amusement parks.

As a part of the Species Survival Network, OceanCare contributes to the worldwide ban on commercial trade in manatees and manatee products.

OceanCare acts as an important intermediary between people who witness strandings and local stranding networks, to ensure that animals receive first aid as fast as possible.

For the first time, OceanCare supports a river dolphin project: for the protection of the Irrawaddy dolphins of Bangladesh.

By publishing a briefing about dolphin assisted therapy, OceanCare informs the public about the threats dolphins are exposed to by this costly business, and suggests alternatives.


OceanCare and the Environmental Investigation Agency pressure Amazon Japan to remove all whale and dolphin meat from their online sales.

The Swiss Government follows OceanCare’s recommendation and supports a ban on the import of whales and dolphins.

Following an intervention by OceanCare and its partners, the Maldivian Government cancels permission for the construction of a new dolphinarium.

German oarswoman Janice Jakait arrives in Barbados after 90 days. With the slogan ‘Rowing for Silence’ on her boat, she crossed the Atlantic Ocean by herself to support OceanCare’s Silent Oceans campaign.

OceanCare’s strategy against the Japanese dolphin hunt proves to be effective. An increasing number of reports about the high levels of contamination in dolphin meat goes hand in hand with a steep drop in sales. While in 2008 about 1,800 dolphins were killed, the numbers decreased to 400 in 2012.

The International Whaling Commission meets a long-standing demand by OceanCare and obliges whaling countries to inform consumers about the health risks related to cetacean meat consumption.

As South Korea voices its intention to resume whaling, OceanCare joins international protests that make the government cancel these plans.


OceanCare is granted Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations as special advisor for marine issues.

OceanCare hands in a petition with 77,776 signatures to the Swiss Parliament against the importation of dolphins into Switzerland and the construction of new dolphinaria.

OceanCare hands in 60,500 signatures to the European Union Ambassador in Berne against the importation of dolphins into the European Union and the construction of new dolphinaria.

The United Nations Task Force on Marine Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction develops basic principles for the protection of international waters. OceanCare makes sure that the noise issue is accounted for.

The United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals demands that noise is reduced in marine protected areas and calls for effective protection of endangered whale and dolphin species by 2024.

Through the International Ocean Noise Coalition, OceanCare supports the International Organization for Standardization in developing standards for less noisy ship engines.

Based on OceanCare and Tethys scientific data, the European Union requires Greece to ban purse-seining and trawling in the area of Kalamos. Dolphins and fish shoals reappear around the island.

As a result of the transparency debate induced by OceanCare, the International Whaling Commission bans so called ’motivational gifts’.

OceanCare elaborates an action plan for the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS) for the protection of whales and dolphins in Moroccan waters.

ACCOBAMS Parties endorse the proposal by OceanCare and Pelagos to establish a protected area for sperm whales south of Crete. Implementation is in the hands of Greece.

A petition by OceanCare and the Franz Weber Foundation gaining 97,758 signatures against the import and trade of Canadian seal products supports a motion endorsed by 30 Members of Swiss Parliament.

Working through the Species Survival Network, OceanCare campaigns for a ban on trophy hunting polar bears and on the trade in polar bear hides.

As a member of the High Seas Alliance, OceanCare focuses on the protection of waters beyond national legislation (high seas).


Following a legal demand by the OCEAN2012 Alliance, illegal fishing activities will face stiff fines.

OceanCare and Tethys support  coastal fishermen from the island of Kalamos urge the Greek Government to enforce existing fisheries law. Fishermen voluntarily enlarge the mesh size of their nets to allow small fish to pass, and spare fish during the spawning season.

Based on studies submitted by OceanCare, experts from the United Nations’ World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization investigate toxic contamination of whale and dolphin meat.

The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity calls on Parties to elaborate measures to solve the marine noise issue.

In Ireland, OceanCare informs representatives of the oil and gas industry as well as of the shipping industry and the navy about the negative consequences of underwater noise.

ACCOBAMS Parties endorse plans to reduce noise in three specifically sensitive areas of the Mediterranean Sea and invite OceanCare to be part of the task force.

The UN General Assembly calls on The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to investigate the impact of noise on fish stocks including the socioeconomic consequences of reduced fish catches.

OceanCare becomes a supporting organisation of the online platform that aims to improve the quality of whale-watching worldwide.

In Mauritania, a monk seal gives birth to a pup on an open beach for the first time in 60 years. The number of seals has doubled to 200 since 1997.


The Oscar-winning documentary ‘The Cove’ reveals the racketeering of Japan’s dolphin hunters and documents the work of the Save Japan Dolphins Coalition.

OceanCare forms an alliance of 49 environmental and consumer protection organisations (including the Consumers Union of Japan), to work towards a ban on selling contaminated whale and dolphin meat.

The work of OceanCare, the Franz Weber Foundation and IFAW bears fruit: the European Parliament introduces a trade embargo on seal products from Canada.

OceanCare and Pro Wildlife prove that whale meat contains more than 5,000 times the permissible amount of mercury and persuade the International Whaling Commission to collaborate with the World Health Organization.

As a member of the OCEAN2012 Coalition, OceanCare urges that the reform of the European Union Fisheries Policy to address pressing deficits.

OceanCare begins cooperation with CBD-Habitat to research and protect the endangered West African Manatee in Guinea-Bissau.


A legal opinion by OceanCare on the participation of nongovernmental organisations in international fora prompts the International Whaling Commission to begin formally hearing civil society interventions.

OceanCare secures the tightening of rules for keeping whales and dolphins in Switzerland.

On application by OceanCare and Oceanomare Delphis, the Italian Government declares the waters north of Ischia a marine protected area for common dolphins.

The Faroese Health Administration recommends against the consumption of pilot whale meat because of its contamination load.

OceanCare saves the long-term research of the Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute from bankruptcy and supports the creation of a protected area for sperm whales in the waters south of Crete.

OceanCare becomes a member of the Save Japan Dolphins Coalition and campaigns alongside US dolphin activist Ric O’Barry for a ban on dolphin drive hunting.


By stopping the governmental approval process, a US Navy sonar manoeuvre in Hawaiian waters is blocked.

A study by OceanCare and the Environmental Investigation Agency on mercury contamination prompts a Japanese supermarket chain to remove whale and dolphin meat from its product range.

As a result of an intervention by OceanCare and the Save Japan Dolphins Coalition, the Dominican Republic refrains from importing twelve dolphins from the Japanese dolphin drive hunt.

OceanCare and the Tethys Research Institute begin monitoring fisheries in the waters around the Greek Island of Kalamos, an important dolphin habitat.

Together with its partner organisations, OceanCare achieves protection of whales off the Chilean coast.

OceanCare president Sigrid Lüber is awarded the environmental prize ‘Trophée de femmes’ by the Yves Rocher Foundation.

OceanCare unites organisations committed to protecting whales and dolphins in the Mediterranean under the umbrella of the Cetacean Alliance.


OceanCare contributes the chapter on underwater noise and its consequences for marine life to the United Nations Ocean Atlas.

OceanCare and Pro Wildlife influence debate within the International Whaling Commission with a catalogue of specific enforcement measures against illegal whaling.

The group of companies 7-Eleven removes all whale and dolphin meat from the shelves of its Japanese branches after intervention by OceanCare and the Environmental Investigation Agency.

Mexico bans the trade in dolphins after OceanCare and partners reveal a case of illegal importation.

OceanCare begins a successful partnership with CBD-Habitat to protect monk seals off the Mauritanian Atlantic coast.


The United Nations General Assembly classifies underwater noise as one of the five biggest threats to marine mammals and as one of the ten biggest threats to the oceans as a whole.

OceanCare becomes a member of the international Shark Alliance for the protection of sharks.


The European Parliament demands a moratorium on high frequency sonar. Spain bans the use of military sonar around the Canary Islands. Seismic tests are stopped in the Gulf of Mexico.

OceanCare begins to participate annually in the consultative debates on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

OceanCare becomes a Partner of the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS).


OceanCare co-founds the International Ocean Noise Coalition, which is joined by 150 organisations worldwide.

A petition by OceanCare urges NATO members to optimise military tests in order to minimise impacts on marine mammals.


The Silent Oceans campaign against underwater noise is launched.

At the symposium ‘Whale Zone’ near Zurich, renowned scientists, politicians and marine protection activists discuss protection measures for marine mammals and oceans.


With an international law report on vote buying, OceanCare obtains a historical resolution for political transparency within the International Whaling Commission.


OceanCare and the Japanese consumer protection organisation Safety First publish a study on toxic contamination of whales. Whale meat consumption in Japan declines.

Swiss supermarket chain Coop removes all shark products from its shelves as a result of OceanCare’s intervention.

Swiss dolphinarium Connyland closes a discotheque next to the dolphin basin after public pressure.


The Swiss delegation at the International Whaling Commission presents a legal opinion, developed by OceanCare, that the IWC is also responsible for small cetaceans.


In response to public pressure Knie’s Kinderzoo quits keeping dolphins.

Based on a study by OceanCare, the Faroese health administration recommends reducing consumption of contaminated pilot whale meat.

OceanCare pressures the International Whaling Commission to deal with whale health and risks to consumers who eat contaminated whale meat.

OceanCare is awarded the Elisabeth Rentschler animal protection prize for the organisation’s commitment against dolphin captivity.


OceanCare begins its work within the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora against the illegal trade in protected marine mammals.

As a result of pressure by OceanCare, Jamaica withdraws a permit to the catch of two dolphins for Knie’s Kinderzoo in Rapperswil, Switzerland.

The project MedCet begins to research whales and dolphins off the French Mediterranean coast.

The Swiss Museum of Transport donates a sculpture of a humpback whale fluke to OceanCare, which is mounted at the Au peninsula in Lake Zurich.

As a member of the Species Survival Network, OceanCare urges that governments abide by laws against the trade in endangered species.


OceanCare and partners prevent the construction of a salt mine in the nursery grounds of grey whales in the Gulf of California.


Mexico approves a marine protected area for Vaquitas in the Gulf of California.


OceanCare begins to participate in meetings of the International Whaling Commission.

In Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, OceanCare contributes to blocking the construction of a dolphinarium.

OceanCare wins the Dow President’s Environmental Care Award for dolphin protection.


In Martigny, Switzerland, OceanCare blocks the construction of a new dolphinarium.
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We, OceanCare (Club seat: Switzerland), process personal data for the operation of this website only to the extent technically necessary. All details in our privacy policy.