Marine Connection is a registered charity based in the UK, working internationally on the protection, conservation and welfare of all cetaceans.

Founded by Margaux Dodds and Liz Sandeman in 1997 after many years of campaigning, and successfully closing, the last facilities in the UK holding captive cetaceans. Marine Connection started life as a small voluntary organisation and is now recognised as being one of the leaders in its field, dedicated to helping build a safer future for the world’s dolphins and whales.

For almost two decades, Marine Connection has been at the forefront of cetacean campaigning, committed to the protection and conservation of all cetaceans and their natural environment, the world’s seas and oceans. Working with cetacean specialists, NGOs and campaigners around the globe we address threats posed to these marine mammals and help establish new laws or campaign for legislative change to provide better protection for them – both in the wild and in confinement. Dedicated to ending the keeping of dolphins and whales in captivity, the charity has been successful in many of its campaigns to stop new facilities being built around the world and supports establishing seaside sanctuaries to enable as many captive cetaceans as possible to live out their lives with more space, social opportunities and autonomy in a natural habitat.

Marine Connection’s advocacy work is also strengthened by being working members of several coalitions operating on an international level to protect cetaceans. One is Dolphinaria-Free Europe, working to end the keeping of cetaceans in captivity, seeking greater protection for them in Europe, through investigation and education. Another is the China Cetacean Alliance, which raises awareness of the welfare issues associated with the capture of free-ranging whales and dolphins and subsequent holding of these mammals in ocean theme parks in mainland China. Members of both coalitions hold the firm belief that cetaceans should not be exploited for human entertainment.

One of our major aims and objectives is our ongoing efforts to educate children and adults about the plight of these majestic marine mammals, inspiring them to make changes in their lives to help create a safer world for these animals in which to thrive. We encourage public involvement in our pro-active campaigning and achieve this via our social media platforms, where supporters can get directly involved, receive our daily information and news.

Patrons: David Essex (OBE), Lee Everett-Alkin

We have achieved many important victories for cetaceans so far. Our mission is to continue our work to stop the suffering of all cetaceans and create a future where they can live safely in the wild.

The Team

margaux dodds

Margaux Dodds

Involved in campaigning to end the keeping of dolphins and whales in captivity since the 1990’s, Margaux manages the charity’s anti-captivity work and is also Campaigns Group Co-ordinator for Dolphinaria-Free Europe coalition. Her other area of interest/expertise is social, solitary cetaceans on which she has co-written a report entitled ‘Lone Rangers’.

Liz Sandeman

Assisting the coordination of the charity’s conservation programmes/projects, Liz also works closely with our social media manager to help deliver the organisation’s online campaigns. Liz’s interest in cetaceans began over 20 years ago when, after several years of volunteering for wildlife NGOs, she co-founded Marine Connection.


alan knight


CEO of International Animal Rescue, a UK based charity helping stop the suffering of animals around the world. Alan also has a passion for diving and combines this interest with his love of marine mammals through the charity British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), of which he is Chairman.


Executive Director of Catastrophies, a sanctuary giving outstanding care, love and much needed shelter to unwanted cats, working in both the UK and overseas, Liz and her team ensure that any cat in their care is assured the best possible treatment. Liz was given an IFAW award for cat rescue in 2014 in recognition of her services.

rachel sharp


CEO of Wildlife Trusts Wales, Rachel has worked for the Wildlife Trusts for over 15 years in both Wales and England.  Her conservation career started as the LBAP officer for Herefordshire, moving to Avon Wildlife Trust to become their Head of Biodiversity.  She then became CEO for Herefordshire and then Brecknock Wildlife Trusts.

Photo Credits: Main pic – SA Nantel, Humpback – A King, The Team – Judith Scott Photography, A Knight, A Wilson, M Dodds