CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Jon Lien was a world renowned whale researcher and conservationist who passed away April 15, 2010 at the age of 71.

He received the Order of Canada and the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador as well as countless other accolades, formal and informal, for his decades of work as an advocate for both whales and fishermen.

Lien saved hundreds of whales from fishing gear, sometimes driving hours to outport communities and helping fishermen pull their catches afterwards. The Whale Research Group he founded has trained hundred of students and developed techniques copied around the world.

Lien was a skilled communicator with a plain - yet captivating - way of explaining whale behaviour, especially during times when fishermen regarded whales as little more than nuisances. He had a trusted relationship with a fishing community that generally regarded scientists with suspicion. And, he was at the forefront of a new generation of fisheries researchers who learned to work with fishermen rather than work around them.

Lien understood the value of educating the public and made himself available for countless interviews over the years with the Fisheries Broadcast, CBC TV and Land and Sea. The CBC's archives are filled with examples of Lien's passion for his work, his patience and his good humour.