Rollo GebhardSociety for Dolphin Conservation (Gesellschaft zur Rettung der Delphine/GRD) is dedicated to the conservation of wild dolphins and their habitats by supporting research, promoting public awareness and lobbying for better protection.

GRD is a non-profit organization based in Germany. It was founded in 1991 by Rollo Gebhard, a famous German sailor and documentary filmmaker who sailed three times around the world.

Over the years, Rollo Gebhard witnessed a dramatic decrease in dolphin populations on his trips, concurrent with the increasing use of destructive fishing methods such as driftnets.

“When my wife and I founded GRD in 1991, we knew that the most difficult task of our lives lay ahead of us – fighting for the abolition of driftnets and other destructive fishing methods that cause the senseless death of hundreds of thousands of dolphins and other marine life each year. We aimed high, but we were determined to save the dolphins, our faithful companions on many journeys,” says Rollo.

So, in a first step, he joined forces with the American Earth Island Institute to fight against dolphin-deadly tuna fishing techniques.


Rollo Gebhard passed away peacefully after Christmas 2013 at his home in Bad Wiessee at Lake Tegernsee following a stroke. He was 92 years old.



Today, GRD manages and supports projects in several countries around the globe aimed at protecting endangered dolphin populations and ensuring their survival for future generations.

GRD is dedicated to the conservation of dolphins and their habitats in the world’s oceans.

We work to reduce and eliminate ecologically unacceptable fishing methods, we support diverse conservation and awareness raising initiatives, encourage research, educate the public about cetaceans and the threats they are facing and lobby for better protection of marine mammals.

We team up with renowned researchers and conservationists and other NGOs to achieve our goals.

Whales and dolphins are facing severe threats from unselective fishing practices, deliberate killing, reckless exploitation of marine resources and from pollution caused by toxic materials, waste and noise.

Only if we join forces can we lend a voice to the myriad cries of help from the oceans.

Further reading:
> How it all began - Rollo Gebhard writes about GRD’s Spectacular Foundation in 1991 celebrating GRD’s 20th Anniversary

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