Stephen’s interest in whales and dolphins began with quite a negative experience. Whilst in Vancouver, British Columbia on business in 1989 he visited the aquarium and was horrified to see orcas and beluga whales imprisoned there. He immediately made a pact with himself to become more involved in cetacean conservation and from then on has opposed the captive industry.
In 2003, after decades working in advertising and marketing, Stephen closed his London-based advertising agency and began consulting for human and animal welfare charities. He started working for the whale and dolphin charity ORCA. As Corporate Development Manager he helped to rejuvenate the charity’s fortunes over a three year period, creating a robust platform from which the charity could grow. At the end of the three year contract, Stephen continued to volunteer on ORCA's board as a Trustee and Vice Chair, having a particular focus on public interactions and marketing. He also runs Marine Mammal Surveyor training courses for ORCA, as well as leading whale watching trips for the charity. Stephen has previously fulfilled the role of Rescue & Care Coordinator for the Dolphinaria-Free Europe coalition.
Stephen is also the former Operations Manager and National Coordinator for British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), stepping down after eight years in 2018 to embark on an adventure of a life-time: Around the World in 80 Whales. Stephen’s day job involved working closely with the charity’s team of 2,800 volunteers around the UK, rescuing whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and turtles.
Stephen has sat on a number of UK and international governmental, military and charity conservation committees, including the Marine Management Organisation's marine wildlife crime enforcement unit, the Underwater Sound Forum, Marine Animal Rescue Coalition, Wildlife and Countryside Link, and as an observer at ASCOBANS. As well as giving public talks about wildlife around the world, he has lectured on marine animal welfare, rescue and whale and dolphin population studies at a number of universities, as well as the Royal Veterinary College and for the RSPCA. Stephen also leads whale-watching trips in the Bay of Biscay with ORCA and has run BDMLR rescue courses in the UAE and Kenya.