In memory of Jo Toole, an extraordinary protector of marine animals

In memory of Jo Toole, an extraordinary protector of marine animals



On March 10th, we tragically lost a friend and colleague - and animals lost one of their most passionate advocates. But Jo Toole's vital work for wildlife will live on in her legacy

We are heartbroken by the terrible news that our former colleague – Joanna (Jo) Toole – was on the Ethiopian Airlines flight to Nairobi that crashed on Sunday. Our deepest sympathy and condolences go out to her family and friends at this tragic time.


Jo was a passionate and committed animal welfare advocate and very well-respected friend and colleague to many across World Animal Protection.

She worked with us for nine years and played a vital role in setting up our Global Sea Change campaign, which protects marine animals from ‘ghost gear’ – lost and abandoned fishing gear that turns oceans into death traps for animals – an issue that she dedicated her career to.  

She was also co-founder of the ground-breaking Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), which aims to engage UN agencies, international organizations and governments in freeing our oceans from the ghosts beneath the waves.


Jo continued to work very closely with World Animal Protection colleagues when she moved to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and was due to join Ingrid Giskes, head of our Sea Change campaign, at a UN panel discussion on Marine Litter in Nairobi.

We are all devastated by this terrible news. Not only have we lost a dear friend and colleague, but the world has lost a passionate campaigner for animals.

She was an inspiration for many, and our legacy to Jo will be to continue to do everything we can to improve the lives of animals across the world.

She was a wonderful, smart and committed person and will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with her family and friends - Steve McIvor, CEO