Saturday, November 29, 2014

Dolphin Project and Earth Island Istitute- "About Us"

Dolphin Project . Org

About Us

The Dolphin Project is a campaign under the International Marine Mammal Project at the non-profit Earth Island Institute. The Dolphin Project aims to stop dolphin slaughter and exploitation around the world.  This work has been chronicled in films such as A Fall From Freedom, the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, and in the Animal Planet mini-seriesBlood Dolphin$.
Campaigns for dolphin protection are currently underway in a variety of locations around the globe, including the Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Japan, and Russia. 
Earth Island Institute
Save Japan Dolphins is a proud part of the Earth Island Institute, a non-profit, tax deductible organization founded in 1982. The Earth Island Institute has a long and active history in dolphin and whale related causes. In 1986, through the International Marine Mammal Project,  EII organized a campaign to urge U.S. tuna companies to end the practice of intentionally chasing and netting dolphins with purse seine nets, and to adopt "Dolphin Safe" fishing practices to prevent the drowning of hundreds of thousands of dolphins in tuna nets every year. This campaign included consumer pressure, litigation, and revisions to the US Marine Mammal Protection Act.  In 1990 a major breakthrough was achieved and the largest tuna companies in the world pledged to become dolphin-safe.  Today virtually all American canned tuna has become verifiably dolphin safe. Through the International Monitoring Program, the Earth Island Institute regularly inspects tuna companies to ensure consumers that the tuna they buy is truly "dolphin safe."

Earth Island Institute's International Marine Mammal Project is also active around the world to confront the capture and trade in live dolphins, to protect whales from commercial whaling, to rescue and rehab whales and dolphins, and to engage in efforts to protect marine mammals and their habitats.

Earth Island Institute is an umbrella organization with has more than 65 projects working for the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the Earth. For more information, please visit:

Dave Phillips, Executive Director 

Biologist David Phillips is Co-Executive Director of the Earth Island Institute, which he co-founded in 1982. He also directs the Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project.

David has been a non-governmental representative to numerous international marine conventions, including the International Whaling Commission, and has testified before the US Congress on marine mammal protection, endangered species conservation, and the impacts of trade on the environment.  His direction of the Institute was acknowledged by the United Nations Environment Programme, which granted their Leadership Award in honor of his efforts to protect dolphins from indiscriminate fishing techniques.  The Earth Island Dolphin Project's success in negotiating an agreement with the world’s largest tuna companies to adopt fully "dolphin-safe" policies was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the most significant environmental victories of the decade.

In 1995, David founded the Free Willy - Keiko Foundation, and was awarded the Joseph Wood Krutch Medal by the Humane Society of the US for his efforts on behalf of marine mammals. He has been involved in the development and implementation of numerous pieces of legislation pertaining to marine conservation, including the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act of 1990, the International Dolphin Conservation Act of 1992, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Mark J. Palmer, Associate Director 
Mark J. Palmer graduated with a BA in Zoology from the University of California at Berkeley, during which time he founded and led the Endangered Species Committee of California.

Mark has since served as Regional Vice President for the Sierra Club for Northern California and Nevada; Chairman of the Sierra Club’s National Wildlife Committee; and Chairman of the Sierra Club’s Arctic Campaign Steering Committee. He has been Executive Director of the Whale Center (1986-1990) and the Mountain Lion Foundation (1990-1995), before coming to Earth Island Institute.
Mark has more than 40 years of experience lobbying in the California State Capitol in Sacramento and in the U.S. Congress in Washington DC on wildlife and wilderness issues, as well as experience with the Japanese-American Environmental Conference, the International Whaling Commission, and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. He is editor of the daily newsletter ECO distributed at International Whaling Commission meetings. He was a consultant for the Academy Award winning documentary The Cove, and appears in the Animal Planet series Blood Dolphin$.

Mark Berman,  Associate Director

Mark Berman joined Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project in 1991. He previously worked as a volunteer advocate for Dolphin Safe tuna and to advocate for the ban on the captivity of cetaceans in marine parks in South Carolina. Mark led the successful campaign to halt construction of a large dolphinarium in South Carolina in 1990, and was instrumental in passage of a law in the state to ban the captivity of cetaceans. South Carolina is currently the only state with such a law in effect.

At Earth Island Institute, Mr. Berman assists in the direction of the International Monitoring Program for Dolphin Safe tuna, supervising staff in 15 countries. He also was a founding staff for the Free Willy Keiko Foundation in 1994 with David Phillips. Mark helped lead an unprecedented, five country program to rescue, rehabilitate, and release Keiko, the star orca whale from the hit movie Free Willy.

Mark also works with the European Dolphin Safe Monitoring Organization to promote and license the registered dolphin safe logo for the canned tuna processors, retailers and importers in the EU. In addition, Mark has recently worked on campaigns to end the drive fishery of dolphins in Japan, to halt the expansion of Ocean Adventure in the Philippines and the mass capture of live dolphins in the Solomon Islands for export to marine parks worldwide.

Mary Jo Rice, Associate Director 

Mary Jo Rice works with the Dolphin Project and the Save Japan Dolphins Campaign in the areas of educational outreach, volunteer and internship management, fundraising, event planning, grassroots organizing, and campaign planning and implementation.

Mary Jo is the former Executive Director of Seaflow, and she organized the North American Ocean Noise Coalition, bringing together more than a dozen national and regional environmental organizations to collaboratively address ocean noise pollution issues. She has also led a major open space acquisition effort in Marin County, which won her the designation of “Environmental Hero” in Barry Spitz’s book, Open Spaces. For her successful leadership roles in various environmental campaigns, particularly in protecting ocean life, she received the 2006 Resource Conservation Award from the Sierra Club’s Marin Chapter.

Mary Jo received a B.S. degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1974, graduating summa cum laude. She and her husband live at the edge of open space in the Marin County, CA hills, where they raised their two children.

Laura Bridgeman, Program Associate 

Laura has always been passionate about cetaceans and the natural world. Hailing from Ontario, Canada, where she obtained her degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Ottawa, she found her way to Earth Island in order to make significant contributions to the increasingly relevant dialogue about cetacean rights. She brings her many years of experience in environmental and animal rights activism to bear upon her work at Dolphin Project. She develops and leads strategic campaigns, employs grassroots activism and maintains a strong international presence for Dolphin Project through social media and news networks.

Photo of the Earth as seen from space and the words: Earth Island Institute; You are here.
Earth Island Institute is a non-profit, public interest, membership organization that supports people who are creating solutions to protect our shared planet.

Since 1982, Earth Island Institute has been a hub for grassroots campaigns dedicated to conserving, preserving, and restoring the ecosystems on which our civilization depends.

Our Project Support program acts as an incubator for start-up environmental projects, giving crucial assistance to groups and individuals with new ideas for promoting ecological sustainability. Since our founding, we have provided fiscal sponsorship to more than 100 projects around the globe.

In addition to our project support work, we also inform and inspire people to take action through our award-winning quarterly magazine, Earth Island Journal, our New Leaders Initiative, and our Restoration Initiative. TheJournal balances investigative exposés with inspiring stories of change, giving people the information they need be effective environmental activists. Our New Leaders Initiative hosts the annual Brower Youth Awards, which highlights the amazing accomplishments of young people working for sustainability and provides emerging leaders with mentoring resources. Our Restoration Initiatives funds community-based coastal protection and wetland restoration efforts in Southern California.

By sharing resources, Earth Island’s network of grassroots leaders benefit from the synergistic exchange of experience and ideas, making its members more effective together than they could ever be apart. We currently serve as the fiscal sponsor for more than 40 groups, including Baikal Watch, Energy Action, Ethical Traveler, Fiji Organic Project, International Marine Mammal Project, Reef Protection International, Sacred Land Film Project, and Women’s Earth Alliance, among others. Successful Earth Island Institute alumni projects include International Rivers, Rainforest Action Network, and Bluewater Network.

Our model for assisting campaigns addresses one of the environmental movement’s historical barriers to success — that large non-profit organizations typically set their agendas far in advance, and thus are slow to respond to urgent, emerging issues. Creating new organizations for each campaign is impractical, because the time and effort detracts from achieving immediate goals.

Earth Island Institute was founded in 1982 by legendary environmentalistDavid R. Brower as an innovative solution to this dilemma. Rather than create dozens of separate non-profit groups with the same basic administrative needs, Earth Island acts as an umbrella organization, providing individual projects with the freedom to develop new initiatives by offering a wide range of professional services, from fiscal administration and program management to office space and equipment.
By serving as a support system for creative individuals, we are helping to grow environmental success. Our sponsored projects address many of the world’s most pressing environmental and social issues and work toward a sustainable future through a combination of education and activism — informing decision-makers, the media, and the general public about global threats and opportunities; developing constituencies to respond to them; and providing ordinary citizens with opportunities to get involved, take action, and make a difference.

Through assisting “early stage” leaders — from moms seeking a healthy future for their children to community activists figuring out how to restore their local wetlands — we fill a crucial role in the citizen movement for a sustainable future.



Dear Prime Minister Abe:
I would like you to take immediate action to end the hunting of dolphins in Japan, including the bloody and inhumane slaughter of dolphins that takes place in Taiji.
Japan’s international reputation is severely damaged by the continuation of these barbaric hunts that are as disturbing to many Japanese as they are to the rest of the world.
Dolphins are extremely intelligent, emotionally complex animals with very real familial bonds, much like humans. Scientists who have reviewed the dolphin hunts indicate that such inhumane killing methods would not be allowed in any civilized slaughterhouse for farm animals, including in Japan under existing law. 
The terror and suffering of the dolphins as they are being slaughtered is palpable and abhorred by almost all who view it. The Taiji hunts only began in 1969, according to the town’s own history, so the killing of dolphins is not an “ancient tradition” as many Japanese leaders have claimed.
Recently, during one of the drive hunts in Taiji, a rare albino dolphin called Angel was captured and separated from her mother and family pod. She now swims alone in a small pool at the Taiji Whale Museum where her life is in danger. Without her mother or her pod to care for and support her, she will probably die.
This rare dolphin deserves special treatment to exemplify the best of what humans are capable of. She should not be showcased in a small tank or pen where she will likely die a premature death or be trained to perform tricks to entertain tourists.
Japan has a notable tradition, one that has a deep respect for nature and all the creatures in it. With that in mind, I call on you and others to show true leadership and finally end the inhumane dolphin hunts, protect dolphins, and help restore Japan’s international integrity and support from the world’s public.