Rollo-GebhardDear Dolphin Friends,

When I founded the Society for the Conservation of Dolphins (GRD) 20 years ago, I had just returned from my third world circumnavigation, bringing back shocking films and facts from Alaska about the dolphin massacres taking place in the tuna fisheries.

I succeeded in mobilizing the public, causing a public outcry and forcing the tuna industry to cooperate.

Since then, over 95 % of the German tuna importers have joined Earth Island Institute’s International Monitoring Program for dolphin-safe tuna.

This was a first success and building up GRD was becoming another exciting adventure of my life. In spite of occasional difficulties that had to be navigated GRD has been able to become active in many areas – thanks to my team’s efforts and the support of our members and donors!

Today, GRD has grown into a well-known organization – together with you we have accomplished much over two decades of dolphin conservation. We were instrumental to forcing the EU to ban driftnets, a fishing technique that indistinctly kills everything floating in the sea; and we have established direct dolphins conservation projects in the coastal waters of Peru, Croatia and Mozambique, to name but a few.

rollosextantOn the occasion of my 90th birthday this year I was therefore happy to celebrate another – by no means less important – feat with my "dolphin" team: GRD’s 20th anniversary!

Many of you, dear dolphin friends, have loyally supported us for a long time, quite a few even since GRD’s very beginning 20 years ago. This exemplary commitment fulfills me with great joy and gratitude because our achievements have been possible only because of you!

Your long-standing support also shows the appreciation of our work.

Today, dolphin conservation is facing problems which hardly anyone would have imagined 20 years ago. These threats include noise pollution, caused, for example, by the increasing vessel traffic, excessive overfishing of our oceans, over-exploitation of our oceans for raw materials, and excessive marine pollution.

All these are additional challenges to be mastered.

I very much hope we can continue to count on your important support in our efforts to handle these new challenges. Let us continue to jointly walk this way that we started 20 years ago!

Sincerely yours,
Rollo Gebhard
Founder & President, October 2011

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