Sigrid Lüber’s life changed within a matter of minutes in 1989. While diving in the Indian Ocean, she suddenly found herself surrounded by dolphins. She interpreted the encounter as her mission to stand up for marine life. Back in Switzerland, she founded OceanCare.
From the beginning, it was Sigrid Lüber’s aim to influence international processes in the interest of marine life. In 1992, she took part in a meeting of the International Whaling Commission for the first time. A few years later in this same committee, she exposed Japan’s influence on the voting behaviour of some Member States with a legal opinion on «vote buying». Using a report on chemical analyses, she addressed the contamination of whale meat with pollutants and the health risk of whale meat consumption.
From 2004 onwards, Sigrid Lüber took part in relevant UN conferences that focused on the ocean. She has established excellent contacts with decision makers, put emerging issues such as underwater noise on the agenda and worked to ensure that compliance mechanisms are used to check the implementation of international resolutions. Thanks to her excellent collaboration with the United Nations and the expertise she has built up within her organisation, OceanCare was granted Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) in 2011.
For more than three decades, Sigrid Lüber shaped important aspects of international ocean policy. With her visionary awareness of emerging threats and a balanced mix of pragmatism and commitment, diplomatic skills and courageous consistency, she has been instrumental in ensuring that OceanCare is respected and valued by international bodies and scientific experts.
At the beginning of 2022 Sigrid Lüber has placed the strategic and operational management of OceanCare in the hands of Fabienne McLellan. She remains committed to the organisation as President, continues to represent OceanCare, performs governance tasks, supports the team as a mentor and, with her extensive expertise, ensures the quality of the work in marine conservation.