The fate of whales rest in our hands

The fate of whales rest in our hands
Tuesday, 19 May, 2009
Washington, DC
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW;, along with co-hosts Pierce and Keely Brosnan, today kicked off its “Tails for Whales” campaign during a Congressional Reception at the Capitol Hill Visitor Center in Washington, D.C. 

IFAW’s Tails for Whales campaign is a global, grassroots initiative calling for stronger whale protection. IFAW is asking the public to contribute “visual petitions” to illustrate support for whales. Goran Visnjic, Amber Valetta, Joely Fisher, Cullen Jones, Ben Stein, Kristin Bauer, and Dylan Walsh are among the familiar faces who have already struck a pose for the campaign. The collection of photographs includes celebrities, public figures and everyday individuals making whale tails with their hands. Photos can be viewed or uploaded at

“From Hollywood to our nation’s capital, there is a resounding demand for greater whale protection,” said Jeff Flocken, D.C. Office Director, IFAW. “In order for whale populations to recover around the globe, the U.S. must take a leadership stance and improve current legislation, close dangerous loopholes and increase support for whale conservation activities. We must keep our hands raised in the fight to protect these majestic creatures.”

Whales and their habitats face many threats including commercial whaling, ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, ocean noise and climate change.

“By gathering and compiling these images of people from all walks of life, we are showing not only our government, but leaders abroad, the strong level of support for whale protection and conservation,” added Flocken.

A range of images were taken by everyday people and professional photographers including Mark Von Holden, Max Taylor, Hal Horowitz, Sterling Zumbrunn, Lisa Franchot, Stewart Cook, David Bonnardeaux, Brett Casper and others. The highest quality photos will be bound into a book and presented by IFAW to President Obama and Congressional leaders.

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Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation