Monday, August 3, 2009

Sea Shepherd Campaign Report Current Issues

Aug 2, 2009
We must stop Commercial whaling!

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Sea Shepherd Campaign Report
Current Issues (August 2009)

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is an activist organization operating on a global level in all the world’s oceans on a very limited budget to intervene against illegal activities that exploit marine species and eco-systems.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is not a protest organization. Our clients are marine species and our approach is to uphold international conservation law in accordance with the principles of the United Nation World Charter for Nature.

Thirty years ago on July 16th, 1979, Captain Paul Watson hunted down and rammed the pirate whaler Sierra and ended her illegal career. In 1980, Sea Shepherd commandos sank half the Spanish whaling fleet. Since then, Sea Shepherd has become more effective and more active. There is no other organization on the oceans doing what Sea Shepherd does. We are unique, and we get results, measuring our success by inflicting economic loss on the criminals we oppose and saving the lives of their victims.

We have two rules. (1) We do not take actions that will cause death or injury to our opposition and (2) we act to uphold laws, not to break them.

Since Sea Shepherd was founded in 1977, we have not caused a single injury to any person and we have never been convicted of a felony crime.

We have four priority campaigns at the moment:

1. Objective – Ending illegal Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary

Since 2002, we have been actively opposing illegal Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Our objective is to sink the Japanese whaling fleet economically. We have sent five voyages of intervention and we are presently preparing the sixth voyage of intervention to return to the coast of ..Antarctica.. in December 2009. The Steve Irwin operates from late November until the end of March and the rest of the year is spent in drydock and alongside the dock for repairs, maintenance and improvements. The down time is also used to raise the funding needed to finance the campaign. We have cost the Japanese whaling industry their profits for five years and cut their quotas in half. We will continue this campaign until we drive the Japanese fleet from the seas forever. This last voyage saved 305 whales. We saved 500+ in 2007/2008, 500+ in 2006/2007 and 83 whales in 2005/2006. We have the Japanese whaling fleet in debt and on the ropes financially. We will keep the pressure on until we bankrupt the industry.

2. Objective – The defense and protection of the Galapagos National Park Marine Reserve.

Since 1999, Sea Shepherd has been stationed in the Galapagos. We brought a fast patrol boat to give to the National Park. We help maintain a surveillance barge at Wolf and Darwin.Islands to intercept poachers. We have a canine unit attached to the police force to sniff out shark fins at the ports and airports. We have intercepted and arrested poaching vessels, confiscated tens of thousands of illegal shark fins and hundreds of thousands of illegally taken sea cucumbers. We shut down a planned iron dust dumping project and we cut the nets of tuna seiners fishing on dolphins and taking tuna illegally. The Galapagos is our line in the sand. If we cannot save this profoundly beautiful eco-system, we will be unable to save any threatened place on this planet.

In addition we have busted poachers at ..Cocos.. ..Island.. off the coast of ..Costa Rica and Malpelo Island off the coast of Colombia. We have supplied radar, rifles, radios, boats and equipment to the rangers of Cocos, Malpelo and the Galapagos.

3. Objective – Ending illegal whaling in the North Atlantic by Norway, Iceland and Denmark.

In 1986, we sank half the Icelandic whaling fleet and shut down their illegal operations for two decades. In 1992 we sank the whaler Nybraena in the ..Norwegian Lofoten Islands and the whaler Senet in Southern Norway in 1994. Since then five additional whalers have been sunk in Norway (one this year) keeping the insurance premiums on whaling ships extremely high. In 1994, the Sea Shepherd ship Whales Forever battled the Norwegian Navy off the coast of Northern Norway to disrupt Norwegian whaling activities. Sea Shepherd continues to oppose illegal whaling activities in the ..North Atlantic.. as a priority objective.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society first intervened against the slaughter of pilot whales in 1983 when we disrupted one of the hunts. We returned in 1985 and 1986 to disrupt the killing operations and to produce the BBC documentary Black Harvest. We returned again in 2000 to disrupt the slaughter. Captain Paul Watson is banned from Denmark and the Faeores but the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society continues to work towards the end of this horrific annual massacre of pilot whales.

4. Objective - The defense of the Bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean

Sea Shepherd is presently looking for a ship to defend the Bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean. With more than 600 poaching vessels operating, the Bluefin tuna is threatened with imminent extinction in the wild. We intend to do everything we can to prevent this ecological disaster.

Other Concerns and Objectives:

Instituto Sea Shepherd Brazil is taking major fishing companies to court in Brazil. for illegal fishing and the unlawful slaughter of dolphins. In South Africa we are working to protect Great White Sharks. We have donated $25,000 to Francois Hugo and Seal alert to oppose the killing of Fur seals in Namibia. but we had to discontinue support when he refused to account for expenditures. We are presently working on strategies to utilize against this slaughter but this project is made difficult by the fact that the killing takes place on Namibian soil. This is the same situation in Taiji ..Japan.. where in 2003 we freed 15 dolphins with the result that two of our crew spent four week in jail and we were banned from Wayayama Prefecture. Since then, working with other groups we contributed to the making of the film The Cove. We are hoping that this documentary will exert the pressure needed to shut down this atrocity. In ..Canada.. we have opposed the slaughter of seals on the ice since 1976 and we have lost ships, been beaten, jailed and banned from the country but this year with the ban on Canadian seal products by Europe, our efforts have been rewarded. The commercial seal hunt in Canada has been struck a mortal blow and we will keep the pressure on to end it forever.


Sea Shepherd is mobilizing surfers and scuba divers, yachters and scientists in the cause of saving our oceans. We have helped produce a major television show Whale Wars on Animal Planet and Discovery and we have been featured in nine documentary films including Black Harvest by the BBC (1986), Blue Rage (1992), Ocean Warrior Both films by ..Peter Brown.. (1995), Sharkwater by ..Rob Stewart.. (2007, The Edge of the World by ..Tim Gorski.. and ..Dan Stone.. (2008), Pirate for the Sea by ..Ron Colby.. (2008). The Cove by Louie Psihoyoss (2009), Oceans by ..Jacques Perrin.. (To be released in 2010). A tenth documentary is in the works by Trish Dolman of Screen Siren in Canada

The camera is the most powerful weapon in the world and we use it when and where we can.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has recently had major profiles in major publications around the world including the New Yorker, The London Sunday Times, The Melbourne Age, Figaro, La Monde, etc and major surfing, scuba diving and boating magazines. Sea Shepherd campaigns regularly make headline news around the world.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is growing without having to use donor’s money to finance massive direct mail campaigns, advertising campaigns or public relation expenditures. Funds donated to Sea Shepherd go directly to campaigns. This has kept us small but efficient and effective.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society can be contacted at

The Society is headquartered in ..Friday Harbor, Washington with offices or representatives in the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, South Africa, Singapore, Ecuador, Brazil, the United States, Canada, Australia, Spain, Monaco,.Hungary and Switzerland.

Hans Lak
Whaledefenders stop the killing
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