Sea Shepherd Welcomes Dr. Sidney Holt to the Advisory Board

Dr. Sidney Holt is one of the most influential marine biologists of the 20th Century.  Born in England in 1926 and educated at the University of Reading, England. He is today a resident of Umbria, Italy.

Sidney was the co-author with R. J. H. Beverton of a book "On the Dynamics of exploited Fish Populations" first published in 1957 and which has since gone to three more editions, and has been described by his peers as “the most widely cited fisheries book ever published. . . a great work (that) created a solid foundation for one of the two major global visions of the science of fisheries². This book was the genesis of the modern age-structured approach to the optimal management of fishery resources. Beverton and Holt will continue to be a source of inspiration and insight for many years to come."

Sidney was years employed for twenty-five years in United Nations organizations, having been appointed at various times Director of the Fisheries Resources and Operations Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO, in Rome), Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and Director of UNESCO's Marine Sciences Division in Paris.

Paul and Sidney
credit: Deborah Bassett/Sea Shepherd

He has held professorial chairs at the Universities of California Santa Cruz, of Rhode Island and of Malta, and a Senior Overseas Fellowship at St John's College, Cambridge. In Malta he served as UN Advisor on Mediterranean Marine Affairs and was one of the founders and the first Director of the International Ocean Institute (IOI) there.

Since his retirement from the United Nations in 1979 Dr. Holt has devoted his energies mainly to the conservation and protection of the Great Whales, serving on the International Whaling Commission's (IWC) Committee of Three scientists 1960-1985, on the delegation of the Republic of Seychelles to the IWC 1979-1987, as adviser to the Government of France 1992-4 and to the Delegations of Italy and Chile to the IWC, and also as Science Adviser to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) since 1980.

He has participated in various capacities for more than thirty years in the Scientific Committee of the IWC, as well as in the Commission itself, from 1959 to 2002. He was honoured with the Gold Medal of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Royal Netherlands Golden Ark, the Global 500 Award of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and The Blue Planet Award of IFAW, all for contributions to the protection of marine mammals, to animal welfare and to fisheries science.


Why I support SSCS on the whaling issue

By Dr. Sidney Holt

Although I have long had, and continue to have, informal and sometime formal advisory relations with several NGOs that consistently and persistently oppose commercial whaling, I am looking to SSCS for two special reasons:

  1. SSCS is not afraid to speak out against cruelty to, and mistreatment of, sentient non-human beings, and
  2. SSCS more than any others is clear about the fact that commercial whaling, especially that by Japan in the guise of scientific research, is driven solely by business/financial considerations and is best opposed through disrupting those imperatives, both on the supply and the demand sides.

I am also impressed by the clarity and unambiguity with which Paul Watson expresses his views and defines the SSCS strategy. And I applaud the dedication and bravery of those who crew the SSCS ships. Lastly, I tend always to support those who try to persuade or even force Governments and other "Authorities" to honour the commitments they have made by being party to international agreements, rather than merely by paying lip service to them.