THE INTERNATIONAL MARINE MAMMAL PROJECT TEAM
David Phillips, Executive Director - USA
Biologist David Phillips serves as executive director of the Earth Island Institute, an international nonprofit conservation organization founded by David R. Brower and headquartered in Berkeley, California. From 1978-1984, David was director of Wildlife Conservation for Friends of the Earth. In 1982, he co-founded Earth Island Institute, serving as co-executive director and specializing in international marine wildlife conservation. He directs Earth Island 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 U.S. Congress on marine mammal protection, endangered species conservation, and the impacts of trade on the environment. His direction of Earth Island Institute was acknowledged by the United Nations Environment Programme, which granted David its Leadership Award in honor of his efforts to protect dolphins from indiscriminate fishing techniques. Earth Island Institute'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 1994, David founded the Free Willy–Keiko Foundation, successfully overseeing a five-nation, $10 million international campaign accomplishing historic rescue, rehabilitation, and release of a captive orca whale to its native habitat in Iceland.
In 1995, David was awarded the Joseph Wood Krutch Medal by the Humane Society of the United States for his efforts on behalf of marine mammals.
David has been involved in the development and implementation of numerous pieces of legislation pertaining to marine conservation. These include 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 - USA
Mark Palmer focuses on protecting whales and dolphins with an emphasis on strategic planning, legislative advocacy, legal research, grassroots organizing, and media relations. He is also director of Earth Island Institute’s Wildlife Alive subproject, dedicated to protecting wildlife and wild places throughout California and the West.
Mark graduated with a BA in Zoology from the University of California, Berkeley, and spent two years of graduate work at San Francisco State University in the Department of Biology. While at UC Berkeley, Mark 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, which successfully blocked oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge during the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. He has also been executive director of the Whale Center (1986-1990) and the Mountain Lion Foundation (1990-1995). His articles have appeared in Sierra magazine, Pacific Discovery (now Wild California), USA Today, and Earth Island Journal. He has edited and contributed to several books, including Friends of the Earth Whale Manual, Cougar: The American Lion, and Behind the Dolphin Smile.
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 international 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 Dolphins.
Mark Berman, Associate Director - USA
With sadness, we announce the passing of Mark Berman on May 13th. We will all miss him and his dedication to protecting whales and dolphins. For more about Mark and his legacy, see our blogs here and here.
Mark Berman joined Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project in 1991. He previously led the successful campaign to halt construction of a large dolphinarium in South Carolina, 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, Mark directs the International Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program, supervising staff in 15 countries. In 1994, he also was a founding staff member, with David Phillips, of the Free Willy–Keiko Foundation. 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 to stop the mass killing and capture of live wild dolphins in the Solomon Islands for export to marine parks worldwide.
Mary Jo Rice, Associate Director - USA
Mary Jo Rice leads campaigns in the areas of educational outreach, volunteer and internship management, fundraising, event planning, grassroots organizing, and campaign planning and implementation. She has extensive experience in the nonprofit world as a professional teacher and innovative administrator. Mary Jo tailors educational programs to the needs of specific organizations and builds engaged grassroots communities, offering pro bono professionals and volunteers a place to utilize their talents to serve the mission.
Mary Jo is the former executive director of Seaflow, a California organization that publicized the dangers of ocean noise to marine life. She organized the North American Ocean Noise Coalition, bringing together more than a dozen national and regional environmental organizations to collaboratively address pressing ocean noise pollution issues.
A grassroots organizer for more than 25 years, Mary Jo assumes key roles in local campaigns for successful environmental candidates and green initiatives. She led a major open space acquisition effort in Marin County, California, 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.
Laura Bridgeman, Campaign and Communications Specialist - USA
Laura Bridgeman 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 Institute 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 as campaign and communications specialist. She develops and leads strategic campaigns, employs grassroots activism, and maintains a social media and news network. Laura is also the executive director of a new organization, Sonar, focusing on the human understanding of what cetaceans are and on the development of cetacean rights.
Danielle Miller, Intern, USA
Danielle is currently attending the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Political Economy and minoring in Environmental Economics and Policy. After having interned for former Congressman Henry Waxman (D-33), one of California’s greatest health and environmental advocates, Danielle developed a deep interest in the role that policy and law play in promoting environmental initiatives. Her work with the Air Shepherd Project in fighting against the ivory trade-- as well as her experience promoting green programs in her hometown of Calabasas, California-- have further developed this passion.
“I am honored to work for the International Marine Mammal Project and have the chance to engage in valuable dialogue about some of the world’s most pressing marine health issues. In the future, I hope to pursue a career in politics where she can utilize law and diplomacy to counteract the effects of climate change and push for a more sustainable environmental future."
Kelly D'Ambrogia, Intern, USA
Kelly is currently a first year student at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Environmental Science and Society and Environment, with a minor in Spanish. Her passion for the environment and conservation comes from years of camping, hiking, snorkeling, and kayaking with her family. On campus, Kelly is involved with the Cal Band, the Music Connection, and the Earth Week Planning Committee. After graduation, she hopes to go into the field of wildlife conservation.
Yvonne Dorantes, Intern, USA
Yvonne is a junior majoring in Political Science specializing in International Relations and pursuing a minor in Conservation and Resource Studies. Yvonne was once headed into the medical field, this was until she began participating in local and state speech and debate tournaments. Through participating in these tournaments and working closely with the Migrant Education Program for many years, Yvonne developed a great interest for politics and the type of analysis involved in many processes of public policy.
Yvonne was raised in a small ranch in the Salinas Valley, this has allowed for first hand experience in environmental justice and health problems, effects of immigration policies, and diverse educational programs. Yvonne has worked with the Residential Sustainability Program at UC Berkeley as well as the Berkeley Pre-College TRIO Programs, she has also interned at the California State Legislature. As Yvonne got involved working and learning about social and environmental issues alongside the legislations, she realized the need for advocacy and deep legislative analysis.
Timothy Feder, Communications and Marketing - USA
Timothy Feder has more than 30 years of experience as an independent consultant at an ad agency specializing in strategic communications, service and program marketing, PR, fundraising, website development, branding, and advocacy advertising.
During his career, Timothy has worked with hundreds of local, state, and national nonprofits, government agencies, and foundations, directing a diverse and varied portfolio for organizations working in the environmental, social justice, consumer, social service, and public health sectors. Timothy has worked with the Earth Island Institute and the International Marine Mammal Project for more than 20 years on a wide variety of projects and campaigns.
Paolo Bray, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program, European Director - Italy
Paolo Bray successfully started, developed, and leads some of the most influential and widespread sustainable product certification programs in the world. These include the Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program of the International Marine Mammal Project at Earth Island Institute, the Friend of the Sea project (www.friendofthesea.org) for the certification and promotion of seafood from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, and Friend of the Earth (www.friendoftheearth.org) for the certification of products from sustainable agriculture.
Paolo has served as European director of the Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program since 1991.
More than 800 companies from 70 countries (including 450 tuna companies from 20 countries) rely on these certification programs to verify the sustainability of their origins, representing one of the largest joint networks of this kind.
Theresa "Trixie" Concepcion, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program, Director Asian Pacific - Philippines
Trixie Concepcion graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and took post-graduate courses in Environmental Science in the Philippines.
She has worked for Earth Island Institute since 1993. She now audits companies in nine countries for the Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program in the East Asia and South Pacific regions.
In the Philippines, Trixie is widely recognized as an animal welfare and environmental advocate and has led several organizations that seek to protect the last remaining mangrove forests in the Philippines.
Lawrence Makili, Dolphin Protection - Solomon Islands
Lawrence Makili, who grew up in the Solomon Islands, has been working with Earth Island Institute since 2003. In conjunction with Mark Berman, he has successfully led efforts to end the capture and sale of live wild dolphins from the Solomon Islands to aquariums around the world and has implemented dolphin-safe fishing efforts by the local tuna canners and fishermen in the islands. He also successfully negotiated, over four years, a moratorium on the slaughter of dolphins for local consumption by several villages. One of the villages continues with this program, and Lawrence is helping them develop eco-tourism for the village with support from the Solomon Islands government. His earlier activist efforts have centered on preventing over-cutting of tropical trees in the islands.
Angel Herrera-Ulloa, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program, Latin American Director - Costa Rica
Angel Herrara-Ulloa has a Masters degree in Natural Resource Management, an MBA (INCAE, Costa Rica), and a Bachelors of Science in Marine Biology (UNA, Costa Rica).
Since 1993, Angel has served as Latin American representative of the International Marine Mammal Project. He has authored more than 15 scientific articles and co-authored two books. He covers dolphin safe tuna monitoring in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panamá, Peru, and Uruguay.
Michael Reppy, Dolphin Spirit Project - USA
Michael Reppy’s years sailing the oceans deepened his natural love of dolphins, which led him to join Earth Island’s “Save the Dolphins Project” during the 1990s campaign for dolphin-safe tuna. He has used his ocean racing yachts as a platform to support Earth Island Institute's Save Japan Dolphins effort to end the slaughter and capture of dolphins in Taiji, Japan, and the Free Corky campaign, to return the orca from SeaWorld to her native waters in British Columbia. While sailing in support of Save Japan Dolphins, he made three attempts to break the solo sailing record from San Francisco to Tokyo, just missing the record by a day on his third attempt in 2001.
Michael has been an integral part of many demonstrations involving Redwood Summer, the WTO “Battle in Seattle,” protests against SeaWorld’s captivity of orcas, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom’s animal captivity, Japan Dolphin Day protests outside the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco, and protests at the Russian Consulate to stop their orca captures. He often brings to events and demostrations Earth Island Istitute’s big 20-foot inflatable dolphin, and a pod of foam dolphin hats, for maximal visual impact. He recently attended the California Coastal Commission hearing, and spoke against SeaWorld’s plan to build larger tanks for their orcas, favoring an end to orca captivity and breeding, and retirement of the orcas to seaside sanctuaries.
Ulrike Kirsch, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program, Director - Germany
Ulrike Kirsch holds BA degrees in translation/modern languages and political studies from the Cologne University of Applied Sciences in Germany and Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK, and has worked as a freelance translator, journalist, and project manager in nature conservation and animal welfare for many years.
Since 1998, Ulrike has been working for the German nonprofit NGO Gesellschaft zur Rettung der Delphine (Society for Dolphin Conservation) where she is in charge of the International Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program in Germany. Her activities include quarterly inspections of the tuna purchase reports provided by the German member companies; audits for new companies; serving as a contact person for any inquiries from companies, consumers, and the media; monitoring the tuna in German supermarkets; consumer education; and maintenance and regular update of GRD’s website on dolphin-safe tuna.
Ulrike also directed GRD’s core project, Save the Last Adriatic Dolphins, in Croatia. Additional areas of her work at GRD include public relations, awareness-raising campaigns, social media, and translations.
She is a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of the German Foundation for Marine Conservation (Deutsche Stiftung Meeresschutz).
Jacqueline Sauzier, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program, Director - Indian Ocean/Africa, Mauritius
Jacqueline Sauzier has worked for the International Marine Mammal Project Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program for more than 25 years and heads the office in Mauritius.
She is responsible for the area covering the Indian Ocean and Africa from India to Ivory Coast, monitoring around 50 companies based in Mauritius, Reunion Island, Seychelles, India, Oman, Madagascar, South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, and Ivory Coast.
Jacqueline is involved with many local NGOs including the Mauritius Marine Conservation Society, playing a key role in the protection of the local marine environment, with a special attention to the protection of marine mammals around the island heavily impacted by the growing dolphin and whale watching industry.
Walter Anzer, Advisor, Dolphin Safe Logo/Licensing - United Kingdom
Walter Anzer has decades of experience working in managerial positions in leading food companies and as the administrative director of many trade associations covering many sectors of the food industry. In recognition of his services to the food industry, he was conferred a member of the Order of the British Empire in 1991.
Since 1993, he has been an advisor to Earth Island Institute on matters concerning the International Marine Mammal Project and the European Dolphin Safe Monitoring Organization, which has responsibility for the registration and licensing of its dolphin-safe logo, a trademark, and European Union fisheries policy relevant to tuna fishing and the Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program.
Homer T. Tuquib, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program - Philippines
Homer Tuquib graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce. He has been a fulltime observer for Earth Island Institute's International Vessel Monitoring Program in the Philippines since 2009.
He is also an outdoor enthusiast, biker, and mountaineer, and a member of the Earth Island Institute Philippines Outdoor Club, which initiates outdoor activities to raise awareness about environmental protection.
Edwin C. "Weng" Castillo, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program - Philippines
Weng Castillo has worked for Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project in the Philippines office for nearly 15 years.
Upon getting his Sociology degree, Weng began work at a non-governmental organization supporting the indigenous people of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines.
Weng is highly experienced in company audits and on-board dolphin-safe monitoring, and works to promote environmental awareness in the fishing industry and advocating for the full protection of marine mammals.
Carlito Flores, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program - Philippines
Carlito graduated with a degree in Fisheries Technology, majoring in Capture Fisheries.
He worked with the Earth Island Institute's Vessel Monitoring Program from 1994-1996 and has since served as fulltime port and cannery monitor/auditor from 1996 to the present, covering fisheries operations in Zamboanga and General Santos City for the Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program in the Philippines.
Donald "Bongbong" Sanz, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program - Philippines
Bongbong Sanz graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. He is one of the founding members of the Earth Island Institute Philippines Outdoor Club that initiates fun outdoor activities to raise awareness of the environment.
Bongbong has been a full-time observer for Earth Island Institute's Vessel Monitoring Program since 2009. He is a biker, mountaineer, and overall outdoor enthusiast.
Miguel Machete, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program - Azores
Miguel is the executive council coordinator of POPA, which is the observer program for the tuna fisheries of the Azores.
This pioneering fisheries observer program came from an agreement between Earth Island Institute, the Azores Regional Administration, the Tuna Canning Industry Association, the Fishing Boat Owners Association, and IMAR (Instituto do Mar) through the University of the Azores Center. Until 2003, the program was supported by regional funds. Between 2003 and 2005, it became co-financed by the European Commission. Since then it has been supported entirely by the regional government through the Regional Secretary of Fisheries.
The Azores Fisheries Observer Programme continues to ensure that there is no dolphin mortality or injury in the Azores tuna fishery. Fishery and fishing products are also certified by Friend of the Sea for sustainability. It became the first tuna fishery in the world achieving that certification.
Indra Poernomo, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program - Indonesia
Indra Poernomo has covered Indonesia for the Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program since 2014.
Before joining Earth Island Institute, Indra helped and worked with Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue Center and also volunteered for investigation activities and animal rescue. Indra received a Bachelor of Marine Science from Hasanuddin University in Indonesia.
In 2005, Indra received a Fellowship on Narrative Journalism from the Eka Tjipta Foundation, producing the report, "From Tigers to Coucangs, the story about the arrest of a wildlife trader in Jakarta."
Jose Carlos Castro Neila, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program - Spain
Carlos Castro Neila serves as assistant to the General Director of Anfaco, the oldest industry association in Spain offering technical support to the canning and seafood industry.
For more than 10 years, Carlos has advised and provided assistance to the Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program, distributing alerts to companies, coordinating new applications for certification, and providing assistance in auditing and other activities carried out by Earth Island Institute, mainly in the Galician and Northern Spain, where most of the tuna companies in Spain are located.