The organization firmm

The purpose of our foundation is already made clear in our name - firmm means: foundation for information and research on marine mammals. Our object therefore is to observe marine mammals (especially whales and dolphins) in their natural habitat and find out about their behaviour and social structures. By passing our knowledge on to the public we want to support the protection of marine mammals and their habitat, the oceans. In order to accomplish our purpose, we run various scientific projects and offer whale watching trips and observation courses. The results of our research work are then presented to the public at numerous informational events in countries where firmm is located. We also work in close cooperation with authorities, schools, public institutions, and the media. This helps us to spread our concern and accomplish our purpose effectively.

What is a foundation?

A foundation is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization serving a charitable purpose. This purpose is considered to be the directive of all actions taken by the foundation. The work of the foundation is supervised by the Foundation Board. Its members make sure that all actions taken are to accomplish the purpose.

As a foundation is a nonprofit organization, all earnings are to be used again for the purpose that the foundation supports. This in turn is supervised by government authorities.

Sharing our Knowledge

firmm presents its findings at International Marine Biology Congresses, e.g. European Cetacean Society (ECS), and carries out excursions for students of marine biology (see also: Research)

We also organize informational events for everyone, such as:

  • whale and dolphin observation courses in the Strait of Gibraltar including lectures on marine mammals held by our marine biologists
  • lectures in schools in Spain, Germany and Switzerland
  • lectures and whale watching trips for students from Spanish schools
  • multimedia and video shows at holiday fairs, teacher trainings or for organizations, communities etc.
  • annual firmm reunion in Switzerland with talks on our latest objects and achievements

Time and time again, even film teams and journalists find their way to Tarifa to report on firmm in the media. In September 2009 a documentation about firmm, called The Last Giants, was playing at cinemas in Germany.

Foundation Board and the firmm Team

firmm Schweiz

  • Ms Dr. Katharina Heyer, president, Affoltern a.A., Switzerland
  • Prof. Dr. Patricia Holm, Basel University, Switzerland
  • Mr Benny Stutz, administrator, foundation Gärtnerhaus, Meisterschwanden, Switzerland
  • Mr Samuel Notz, Langnau a.A., Switzerland
  • Ms Caroline Burger, Buchrain, Switzerland

firmm España

  • Ms Dr. Katharina Heyer, president, Affoltern a.A., Switzerland
  • Prof. Dr. Patricia Holm, Basel University, Switzerland
  • Mr Samuel Notz, Langnau a.A., Switzerland