Cetacean Rights: Fostering a Moral and Legal Change Conference

In spite of some forms of conservation measures, cetaceans are currently treated as resources to be harvested. And yet, many elements point in a different direction.

International law manifests a growing sense of duty to whales and dolphins; contemporary ethical reflection brings new theoretical tools to bear on cetacean moral status; and scientific research gives us novel insights into the complexities of cetacean minds and societies.

In the light of this, scholars from the relevant disciplines drew together to spell out all the implications of such developments, and to build a collective case for the attribution of basic moral and legal rights to cetaceans, great and small.

The conference was held at theHelsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland.
Open academic conference : 21st May 2010
Closed door conference presenter forum : 22nd May 2010


Thomas Wilhelmsson, Rector of the University of Helsinki
Welcome address
Chris Butler-Stroud, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, United Kingdom
Fostering Moral and Legal Change Towards Cetacean Rights
Matti Häyry, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Whale Rights and Applied Ethics: The ideas of dignity, solidarity, and precaution
Sudhir Chopra, Cambridge Central Asia Forum, United Kingdom
Revisiting Whales’ Right to Life
Thomas White, Loyola Marymount University, United States of America
Beyond Personhood: Cetaceans and the Challenge of Identifying Species-Appropriate Standards
Hal Whitehead, Dalhousie University, Canada
Cetacean Cultures and Cetacean Rights
Lori Marino, Emory University, United States of America
Cetacean Rights: A Test of our Ethical Consistency
Nicholas Entrup, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Germany
Cetacean Rights: Confronting the Sustainably Paradigm and Deciding Who is ‘Beyond Use’
Paola Cavalieri, Etica & Animali/Conference organizer, Italy
Cetaceans: From Bare Life to Nonhuman Others

Conference pack

Press notification
Speaker biographies
Speaker abstracts
Conference schedule

Conference outcomes

The Declaration


Website photography by Hal Whitehead, Scott Portelli and Colin Wood, through arrangement with WDC.

This independent site is currently supported and maintained by WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation under agreement with the Helsinki Group. The name and email address details collected by the site will be used only for the purposes of furthering the Declaration. Names and email address details will not be shared with any other parties. Any proposed changes to this arrangement will first be agreed with the Helsinki Group, then published on this website, and all declaration signatory email addresses will be consulted appropriately. WDC is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Our charity number is 1014705. Our address is: Brookfield House, 38 St. Paul Street, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 1LJ, U.K.

Privacy Policy | Cookies

For more information, contact website administration - webmaster [at] whales.org